Atlanta Magazine Lists Catherine Downey As One of The 500 Most Powerful Leaders

For the last several years Catherine Downey has been working alongside other Atlanta leaders to bolster CATMEDIA’s profile. While also finding opportunities to give back to the community. For that reason, it comes as no surprise that she’s been listed by Atlanta Magazine as one of the city’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders, for Marketing and Public Relations in the Professionals sector.

This is the second time Downey has been recognized by Atlanta Magazine. Earlier this year she was also listed in the 500 of Atlanta Magazine’s Top CEOs, coming in at number 55.

With CATMEDIA’s broad project history and Downey’s effective leadership style, the path to success for CATMEDIA has been paved with many successes.

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“You’ll notice that each sector also includes a list of Legends. These honorees are the indisputable forces who’ve shaped our city. It is for the acknowledged pioneers in their respective fields, whose names really need no introduction.” – Betsy Riley,  Editor-in-chief of Atlanta Magazine

Years of Success

Downey has been recognized through multiple awards and honors as a leader who has made significant strides in their careers, are making a difference in their communities, blazing the trail for others, and leaving an indelible mark on the Atlanta business community. Also recognized as one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Women Who Mean Business, and the 2016 Small Business Person of the Year.

Last year Downey was accepted in to the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2019: a nine-month, executive-level series, in which 85 established leaders are chosen each year to represent a broad cross-section of metro Atlanta. The goal of Leadership Atlanta is to work together as a network of established leaders to improve and strengthen the City of Atlanta long-term.

The Future is Bright

CATMEDIA is recognized as one of the nation’s “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” for three years in a row, and is recognized as a leader among government services contractors. CATMEDIA is a two time mention on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America and made it into the Top Ten of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2015 Pacesetter Awards for Atlanta’s 100 fastest-growing private companies.

CATMEDIA is a full service creative and marketing agency that has been recognized as a leader among government services contractors. Fully staffed with true innovators, the firm is patent-pending on several trainings and communications technologies.

ABOUT US

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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For more information, please visit CATMEDIA

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Customer Engagement: The Go-to-Guide For Developing Your Strategy

The relationship between brands and consumers has been evolving over the past several years. Modern technology, and the accessibility it provides consumers with, has created new demands and expectations businesses must strive to accommodate.

Heightened customer engagement is one leading example of these new demands. Especially as consumers today expect to maintain a relationship with their favorite brands. To remain competitive within your industry and appease your customers, it’s critical your team develops a sustainable customer engagement strategy. To help get you started, we’ve assembled a basic go-to guide.

What drives customer engagement?

Developing your strategy begins with understanding the elements that drive engagement. Emotion, for instance, is a top-driving factor behind a consumer’s decision to engage with your brand or not. Although people primarily favor companies whose values align with their own, establishing emotion-evoking values is a productive first step. Gallup’s State of the American Consumer report explains customers’ emotional rationale with three statements marketers should aim to provide to their customers:

  • This brand always delivers on what they promise.
  • I feel proud to be a customer of this brand.
  • This brand is the perfect company for people like me.

When forming your strategy, confirmation of these three statements should be easily recognizable.

Communicate

customer-engagement-mobileEffective communication is a key factor in all aspects of business, particularly customer engagement. When consumers feel they are being heard and can productively communicate with representatives of your brand, you’re more likely to earn their repeat business. Apart from friendly and helpful in-store employees, there are several technologies available for effectively engaging consumers in two-way communication. Offer customers the opportunity to communicate with a member of your team 24/7 with live chat messaging tools or AI-powered chatbots for more general queries. Additionally, be sure to monitor your social profiles and direct messages to promptly jump into any relevant conversations or customer questions.

Personalization

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72% of today’s consumers expect brands to personalize engagement to their needs. The enormous amounts of consumer data that brands have become privy too have created new expectations from consumers for more individualized experiences. To properly engage the modern customer, your strategy must be adaptable to fit each customer’s needs and preferences.

Personalized communications such as email lists, exclusive promotional offers, and history-backed product recommendations are all viable options. The idea here is to give customers something that makes them feel like you recognize them as an individual, rather than just a number—which again, ties back to emotion. Showing interest in your valued customers with offerings they view as relevant to them, such as birthday gifts or product restock announcements, gives customers a reason to want to engage with your brand and improves the likelihood of them positively sharing their experience.

Rewards

Customer loyalty programs are a valuable asset to any engagement strategy. They not only encourage repeat purchases, but loyalty programs. These can provide seamless, omni-channel experiences. In other words, keeping customers engaged through every touch point of their journey with your brand.

starbucks-customer-loyalty-rewardsIt’s human nature to want to interact with someone or something when receiving something in return. Loyalty programs build off of this concept with the use of rewards and special offers. Many successful businesses, such as Starbucks and Ulta, encourage customers to sign up for their free loyalty rewards program. Customers can access their accounts online or through branded apps to check in whenever they make a purchase, get updates on current promotional events and track their points earned from spending. Based on points earned, customers are presented with certain rewards, such as money off or complimentary items. The inclination to want to receive said rewards can help keep customers engaged with your brand beyond just purchase interactions.

Social media

Social media is the most commonly used tactic for improving customer engagement today. Regardless of your industry or target market, odds are your customers are utilizing social media. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all excellent platforms for both promoting your brand and authentically engaging with customers.

air-bnb-social-media-engagementUser-generated content is the most trusted type of content in the eyes of consumers. It’s important to use your business account to share customer reviews, testimonials, submitted photos or any other sort of posting related to your business. This demonstrates the fact that you’re paying attention to the conversation and appreciate your customers’ positive sentiment.

I previously mentioned that people are interested in engaging with others when they are receiving something in return. Therefore, social media can be a great way to encourage engagement through incentives. Create opportunities for your customers to engage with you on social media through interactive activities or contests. Creative photo submission contests, re-post giveaways and polling questions are all easy. yet effective. Ultimately, they keep your customers interested in interacting with your brand.

The Bottom Line

Above all, a customer who is engaged with your brand will spend 60% more per transaction and can deliver 3 times the value to a retailer over time. To maintain long term success in your company, it’s imperative you make customer engagement a top priority. We hope this guide helps get you started!

ABOUT US

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA

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Social Media Marketing: How We Help Our Customers Make a Plan

Developing and implementing a social media marketing plan is inevitable with the steady growth and popularity of social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter aren’t simply for personal use anymore. According to eMarketer, users are spending an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes on social networks a day in 2019.[1] Therefore, if your business has yet to optimize its use of social media as a marketing tool, now is the time. But first, it’s important to understand exactly what a social media marketing strategy really is.

Don’t miss out on other helpful topics for your business! Click here!

A social media marketing strategy can be defined as an overall summary of how your business plans to strategically use social media in a way that will better market its goods or services. This plan should be well thought out and detailed. As well as include an organized calendar that states when you plan to use each social media platform to get the best response from consumers.

Simply having social media accounts and using them every once in a while is not enough. In order to have an effective social media marketing plan, your company needs to be organized. Here is some insight on how we develop and organize, then implement a fail-proof social media plan for clients that will surely bring your brand’s marketing campaign into the modern age.

KNOW YOUR COMPETITION

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Not that it isn’t always important to compare your brand to your competitors, but when creating a social media plan, I find that the best thing to do is see what everyone else is doing. You should be aware of how your business’ social media usage stacks up to that of your competitors’ when creating a digital marketing strategy.

I’m not saying that you should track their every move and mimic their digital marketing strategy, but if you take a look at what’s out there, you will be able to gauge where your business should be in regard to social media marketing. Not only will this information tell you how to create a social media plan, but it can also inspire you to come up with new, creative ways of implementing your plan in order to have a competitive advantage in your field.

SET GOALS

After taking a good look at your competition’s social media marketing plan, it’s time to set goals. By this I mean set attainable, quantitative, measurable goals. For example, instead of simply saying “We want more Facebook followers,” be specific. A better way to set a measurable goal would be to state, “We would like to increase our Facebook followers by 13% within the next quarter.” This way you will be able to evaluate whether or not your marketing plan was successful later on.

REVIEW YOUR TARGET MARKET

My next recommendation would be to review what market your business is planning to target with your digital marketing strategy. This is an important topic to research because different markets use different social media platforms. Once you know what media your target market uses, you can be sure to implement the most effective social media plan possible.

MAKE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

Social media on iphoneGo ahead and skip this step if your company already has professional social media pages, but if not, now is the time to create them. If your brand already has social media accounts, then use this as an opportunity to improve them. Clean them up. Make sure they are cohesive but also unique from one another. Nothing is less effective than a company that simply copies the same material into each of its social media accounts.

Get to know your sites. Facebook allows for lengthier posts, while Twitter is only necessary for short, concise snippets of information. Instagram is great for showing off your products and deals, while LinkedIn is more useful in building your brand and hiring. Learn how to use these sites and which ones are important to your overall marketing plan.

CREATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN

Once you have reviewed the competition, set measurable goals, reviewed your target market, and created or improved upon your existing social media accounts; you can finally create your social media plan.

Your plan should cover things such as, “How many times a day will you post?” “What content will you post?” or “Which audience are you trying to reach through each specific post?” Be sure to make your social media plan as thorough as possible. Specificity will only help you in the long run. Once your plan is in action, this will be extremely helpful.

EVALUATE YOUR PLAN

man on computerAfter you’ve made the plan and put it into action, it is very important to keep track of how it’s doing. If your social media plan isn’t turning out to be as effective as you had hoped, take the time to make changes before it’s too late. If you notice that you’re not getting as many retweets or followers as you had intended, changing the plan can salvage your brand image. Not all companies are successful on their first go around. Practice makes perfect, and in this case, if one plan fails, try another until you reach your goals.

Creating and implementing a sound social media plan can be very valuable to modern businesses due to how many people use these sites. Knowing your competition, setting goals, understanding your audience, improving your online presence, creating a concrete plan, then evaluating that plan after it has been put into action will help your business thrive through social media marketing.

Are you ready to get started on a social media plan of action that will help grow your business?? Get in touch with us today and let’s get the conversation going about taking your brand to the next level!

  1. http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Social-Marketing-2015-Key-ROI-Will-Come-Within/1011305

ABOUT US

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA

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Organic Traffic: 6 Ways To Drive Visitors To Your Website

With millions of websites cluttering the Internet, it may seem completely impossible to gain the attention of consumers or anyone for that matter. However, having a strong web presence can be beneficial to growing companies trying to get their name out there. Increasing organic traffic to your website isn’t as difficult as it may seem, but it does take some knowledge of how search engines actually work.

What does it mean to increase organic traffic?

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While some search engine optimization (SEO) specialists understand the importance of web traffic and organic searches, many don’t quite have a grasp on the topic. According to HitTail,[1] organic traffic can be defined as “free traffic originating from search engines such as Google. It’s the best traffic to receive because it means your website is actually being visited by people interested in your product or service.”

This means, in short, that with organic web traffic, there is no need for your company to pay to increase your website ranking. Organic traffic simply refers to real people interested in your content. So now that we have a clear understanding of the topic, here are a few helpful tips that may increase organic web traffic to your site.

1. KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE INTERESTED

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Having interesting content on your website is vital to keeping organic traffic flowing to your site. This doesn’t mean that you have to devote a section of your website to pop culture or anything crazy, but it does mean that you should practice engaging with your audience as much as possible.

Keep your content interesting enough that it can start a conversation. Unless people are genuinely interested in your website, chances are they won’t be spending much time on it, and your website traffic will decline.

2. BE CONSISTENT

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Consistency is key. Having good content is great, but if you post sporadically, people won’t trust your site as a place to find information. Try to post new information on some sort of schedule. People like being on a schedule, and posting consistently will greatly increase your website ranking.

One way of doing this is to find out when your target audience uses the Internet most often. Posting during these times can increase web traffic to your site. Another way to keep to a schedule is to try to post new content at least one or two times a week on the same day. This creates a sense of stability and consistency that will help increase organic traffic to your website.

3. LEARN ABOUT SEO

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Learning about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is possibly one of the most important tips I can give you in regard to increasing your website ranking. SEO is a good way to help search engines figure out what your website is about and how it may be useful for web surfers. Including key words and phrases can help Internet searchers find your content as it relates to their search, which leads me to my next tip.

4. UTILIZE LONG-TAIL KEY PHRASES

Using smaller phrases can hinder your SEO as many other websites might be using the same ones. Creating more organic traffic to your website can be achieved easier if you separate your site from the masses. If you use longer phrases for SEO, you will be more likely to increase traffic.

5. DON’T FORGET ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

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Using social media as a tool is imperative when trying to increase organic traffic to your site. Use Facebook and Twitter or any other accounts you have to post links to your web content. This will most likely help you gain more organic traffic to your site. Try to include a lot of links to your web content on your social media, but also be sure not to overload your followers with it. If you post new web content on a weekly basis, it would be beneficial for you to promote it on your social media channels.

6. BLOG!

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Blogging can greatly increase web traffic to your site. While blogging, you get the chance to include links to external information or even to your own content. This will keep your audience interested and looking at your content for longer periods of time and ultimately increase your website ranking. Using SEO terms in your blogs will help increase organic traffic and in turn lead to more visitors on your site.

Overall, increasing organic traffic to your website isn’t as difficult as it may seem. With the correct knowledge of SEO and the tools you’ve learned today, you’re website will be on the right track in no time!

ABOUT US

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA

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Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the Future

Remember a couple of summers ago when Pokémon Go was all the rage? The hype quickly fizzled out even though Niantic, the software development company responsible for the technology, was on to something. Not sure what augmented reality and virtual reality mean to the future of marketing or what these emerging technologies actually are? Not a problem. We’ll go over AR and VR, their pros and cons, and how one, and not the other will have the most impact on marketing campaigns for the foreseeable future.

AUGMENTED REALITY (AR)

man playing pokemon goWhen virtual objects are placed into the “real world” such as Pokémon Go, a game that utilizes a smartphone’s GPS and camera to place cartoon characters near actual, physical locations, on a virtual map that users can go, you get what is referred to as augmented reality or AR for short. AR enhances or alters the physical world around us, and not just with smartphones. There are other means of utilizing AR, such as car windshields that display road layouts, navigation directions, and even a speedometer.

VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)

person wearing virtual reality headsetOftentimes, augmented reality and virtual reality are mistaken for one another. Yes, they both alter our physical world in some shape or form, but VR takes it a step further, and immerses the user into a completely virtual setting. VR takes us to another place and cuts us off from reality, using virtual reality headsets. Such as goggles or sealed off visors for watching short films or gaming with a controller that tracks hand movement for manipulating virtual objects. Notable manufacturers of VR technology are Oculus Rift, Samsung Odyssey, and HTC Vive. Higher end models like the Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR, operate from PCs and gaming consoles respectively. They include features such as 90Hz refresh rates and over 200 million pixels per second.

HOW AR AND VR TIE INTO MARKETING

In 2017, HubSpot released a report known as State of Inbound, which tracks marketing trends and data, and stated that video is the number one channel for content delivery. So how do AR and VR fit into all of this? Just look at what French based beauty and makeup supplier, Sephora, is doing with AR right now.sephora_virtual_artist_tutorials The company has a virtual make-up artist app available, that lets users see how a certain lipstick will look, without having to physically apply it. The app scans the user’s face through a smartphone camera, and once the user finds a product they like, they can instantly click to purchase.

 

TRAVEL AND REAL ESTATE REIMAGINED

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Virtual reality also has great potential in marketing, mainly in the tourism and real estate industry. Brochures or other print ads an only do so much to capture an audience’s attention, and online ads must deal with the ever-increasing use of ad blockers on web browsers. But VR takes users to another place that is free of distractions. It’s only recently been made widely available to the public, and does not make users feel they are being force fed advertisements. VR, just like AR, can also take the hassle out of physically shopping around for the right product.

IN YOUR HOME

matterport-core-vr-headsetMatterport, a real-estate firm based in the U.S., offers 3D virtual tours, so potential buyers don’t have to see the home at the actual location. The home-improvement industry has also begun to incorporate VR technologies in marketing. Lowe’s offers Holoroom, a home improvement design and training tool that allows customers to try out do-it-yourself projects in a virtual space. This makes customers feel confident in buying the right products. Similarly a person using Holoroom is more likely to retain the information compared to watching a conventional video.

SO, WHO’S IN THE LEAD?

We’ve gone over some examples of how AR and VR can be successfully implemented into marketing campaigns. AR looks to be the clear winner for the near future. Why? Well, it’s more cost effective, and the foundation is already there. Smartphones are everywhere now, therefore that’s all that’s needed for AR to work in most cases. virtual-reality-online-shoppingGoing back to the Sephora virtual makeup app, there is a clear call-to-action. The consumer can click on a product right away, and make the purchase. VR has the advantage over other forms of advertising because there is more interaction from the user. Yet, there isn’t a way to get that user to pause from that interaction, and respond to a call-to-action like clicking or making a purchase.

AR WILL PREVAIL

man-holding-ipad-with-virtual-reality-app

Both augmented reality and virtual reality show a lot of promise for the future. However, it’s evident that AR will have the most impact sooner. Many of today’s smartphone cameras have the capability, which means AR technology will have an immediate impact versus VR. Right now, VR headsets are too costly and may limit the user’s mobility to a confined space. With AR technology, people can be directed to nearby brick and mortar locations or easily be directed to click on something and make a purchase.

Have ideas for how you can use this technology to reach your customers? Let us know and we can help launch your brand in to the future!

ABOUT CATMEDIA

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA
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Filming the Flames: Our Outcome Shooting a Fire Recruitment Video

When creating a moving experience, especially one that inspires and encourages you to serve a greater purpose, it all comes down to telling a great story through authentic and captivating content. However, capturing powerful images and stories through video is no easy task. The filming process requires knowing deeply who your audience is, what would shift the way they think or feel, and how to create empathy through the story you tell.

CATMEDIA created a branded recruitment video for DeKalb County Fire Rescue to inspire young individuals to join the department and increase the number of applicants for the 2019-year. Consequently as a result grew their social media presence and number of applicants exponentially. Click here to watch the 1 minute version!

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DeKalb County Fire Rescue (DCFR) is one of the largest fire departments in the state of Georgia and in the country. Each year the department accepts applications for recruitment from December 30 to January 13.

They sought to have a branded recruitment video that would:

  • Maintain its use and value for years
  • Target a younger, technology savvy audience
  • Displayed the growing diversity of their department
  • Show the opportunity for growth within the fire service
  • Express the fulfillment of working as a fire fighter

SCRIPTING

We worked closely with the department’s leaders to identify what unique core elements of the department were most important to invoke a “call to service” within their target audience.

“Visual storytelling isn’t something people need to be sold on. We all know it is the most efficient way to catch attention, deliver a message, and build a connection.” – William Warren, Writer

Therefore, we presented 3 treatments for them to choose from. This included tagline options, shot descriptions, production elements, and aesthetic examples for each one.

CONCEPT

“ANSWER YOUR CALLING”

We posed the question, “What kind of person does it take to become a hero?” This concept focused on the characteristics of a person who has what it takes to become a firefighter. As a result, a viewer can watch it and be able to see him or herself in that position.

Cinematic and action packed, this concept aimed to draw in the audience by focusing on the intensity, excitement, and passion of working as a firefighter.

interview-with-dcfr-zina-greshamfilming-the-flames

PRODUCTION

Our contract called for ad-hoc Video Production services. Once the client approved the final script, CATMEDIA coordinated closely with DCFR to solidify production plans. This included creating a production calendar, developing a shot list, scouting locations and coordinating with real firefighters to be interviewed on camera.

“Anything and everything about a video production’s logistics are coordinated from scratch based on the script, and everything must be in place before the principle photography begins.” – Amy Ferzoco, Production Manager

FILMING THE FLAMES

We had one day to shoot the entirety of the video. Therefore, we only chose 2 locations to eliminate travel time between. We conducted interviews with a diverse group of fire fighters, captains, and chiefs. Above all, our goal was to show the diversity of this department to include women in leadership roles.

Our production crew was kept small and only consisted of the Producer, Cinematographer, and a Camera Assistant, hence allowing us to move quickly throughout the day. The department allowed us to shoot a LIVE burn at their training academy, where they had 15-20 active fire fighters volunteer to demonstrate distinguishing a house fire. The department also arranged for several of their special op teams to demonstrate unique sides of the fire department that most people don’t know about.

DELIVERABLES

CATMEDIA delivered two versions of the video, a 5-minute version and a 1-minute version. It was shot with 4-K Footage to achieve the “cinematic” aesthetic the client wanted. Interview sections high-lighted the driving points of the video from a relatable perspective, one where the viewer could see through the eyes of a fire fighter.

The videos were branded, taking inspiration DCFR colors and the DCFR logo with custom graphics, including lower thirds, tagline graphics, and a wallpaper graphic.

OUTCOME

5-MINUTE VIDEO

  • In 2 days DCFR Facebook page increased by 500 followers
  • Surpass their goal of reaching 6,000 followers by the end of 2018
  • YouTube – 7,820 views
  • Facebook Post – 42,000 views / 227 shares / 125 likes / 29 comments

1-MINUTE VIDEO

  • Received 9,000 views within the first 2 months
  • Facebook Post – 9,200 views / 122 shares / 74 likes / 5 comments

Largest application turnout in the past 3 years for the department, receiving 779 new applications within two weeks.

FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS:

Jan. 2018 (3,200) to Jan. 2019 (7,205)

Goal was to meet 6,000 by the end of 2018

Ultimately we were able to accomplish the client’s goals to increase number of applications, create a video that can be used for years to come, and subsequently help them reach their social media growth goals they had set for the 2018-year.

WE TURN YOUR VISIONS IN TO MOTION

Video marketing is an exciting and interactive way for you to reach an audience, and thanks to the digital-technology boom of the last 20 years; it is more important and more cost-effective than ever to create video content for your brand. Do you want more information about video-marketing? Check out our website and tell us if we can use video to take your online marketing strategy to the next level!

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA.com

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Marketing to Healthcare: Applying the 4 C’s

Healthcare marketing revolves around the patient, and in some cases the target customer is a representative of the patient, such as a parent, adult, child, or guardian. Healthcare insurance marketers refer to policyholders or insureds as their target audience. To borrow and slightly alter Shakespeare’s words, “a customer by any other name would be as precious.” In this article, I connect the four C’s of marketing to the specific issues of the healthcare industry.

1. CUSTOMER WANTS AND NEEDS

Today, healthcare marketing revolves around the patient and the patient’s wants and needs. Healthcare firms need to understand not only what patients want and need but also what patients’ options are in the marketplace. Previously, we’ve discussed the change in the healthcare industry and the new year promises a continuation of that change.

The heightened buzz about healthcare and healthcare insurance certainly raises awareness of patient choice. Therefore, it is very important to listen via social media, primary and secondary research, and engage with patients to ensure that when patients or other healthcare customers choose you!

2. COST

healthcare-marketing-credit-card-in-handThere is significant awareness today of the rising costs of healthcare and debate about what drives those costs. Patients and their advocates focus on the value of care while also paying attention to costs. A patient considering cataract surgery may not look for the lowest-cost provider to cut on her or his eyes. As the healthcare industry continues the journey from fee-for-service to value-based care, providers increasingly focus on patients’ long-term health and vitality, such as health maintenance and illness and accident prevention.

Since value-based care rewards keeping patients healthy, there is considerable value to healthcare firms in better-educating patients. Similarly showing patients how they can improve their quality of life through lifestyle changes and consistent well care visits. Consequently, by forming a partnership with patients regarding health and vitality, patients see that you care and are more likely to choose you as their health partner.

3. CONVENIENCE

marketing-in-healthcare-hands-on-a-laptopPatient convenience has driven many changes in healthcare. As a result, patients can now get their flu vaccine when they go buy groceries or stop by the drug store for cough lozenges. Providers now offer evening and weekend hours to accommodate busy patients. Rather than having to call the office and wait on hold, many providers and insurers have websites so patients can schedule their own appointments, track claims, or find answers to frequently asked questions.

It is important that healthcare marketers ask patients about the importance of convenience and what convenience means to them. Therefore, marketers understand the relative value of developing mobile applications. By being proactive in understanding and providing solutions to patients’ needs, healthcare firms can prevent losing patients to competitors.

4. COMMUNICATION

healthcare-marketing-guy-on-phoneHealthcare firms communicate with patients to understand their wants and needs. Through completing the feedback loop by saying, “We listened to your thoughts, and this is what we are doing about it.” Communication is most valuable when it includes interaction. Social media, website content, and other digital marketing tactics can help your healthcare firm engage with patients and patient advocates.

Finally, integrated digital marketing allows a feedback loop between patients, marketers, and providers, and nurtures engagement of all stakeholders to bring about holistic care. Healthcare marketers have the added responsibility to ensure any social media engagement or research complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and other privacy laws. How does your healthcare firm keep a pulse on patient needs and wants, and nurture a long-term relationship?

ABOUT CATMEDIA

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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B2C, B2B, and B2G and Their Differences

Business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B), and business to government (B2G) are three common types of marketing strategies. As a marketing agency CATMEDIA helps clients with all three types of marketing strategies. Although general marketing concepts apply to all marketing strategies, there are important differences. Below I will answer a frequently asked question regarding key similarities and differences between B2C, B2B, and B2G marketing.

B2C MARKETING

B2C-image-of-woman-shoppingB2C, or business-to-consumer marketing, takes place when a business—such as a grocery, storefront retail store, an online consumer legal services, or an online medical information organization—markets their products or services to the public. A similarity between B2C, B2B, and B2G is that as marketers we are always developing communications directed to people. A key difference is the focus on the particular role of the person. B2C marketers are marketing to the consumer, as contrasted with B2B marketers marketing to the business decision maker or influencer. While B2G marketers are marketing to the government contracting officer or representative, or government program manager.

Consumers typically make smaller purchases compared to those made by businesses or government entities, and these purchases typically take less time for a final purchase decision than business or government purchases. The purchase decision is also typically less complex than the process of selling and marketing to businesses or government. The lower complexity is due to fewer people being involved in the purchase decision–perhaps only one or two consumers deciding whether or not to purchase one or more items. Through advertising, direct and Internet selling and marketing, and things like discounts, coupons and loyalty programs, B2C marketers work to convince customers and prospective customers to purchase their products and services.

Who are B2C selling to?

B2C marketers sell to individuals within huge populations. Of course, not every product is going to appeal to every consumer in one population. Therefore, B2C marketers use tools to segment their market into multiple target markets. B2C marketers conduct marketing research to better understand consumers of certain age groups, gender, income, place of residence, and other demographic and psychographic categories regarding their needs and buying behaviors. By understanding key target populations, B2C marketers learn how to sell products and services more effectively to consumers.

Brand Nurturing

A key component of B2C marketing, which is equally important in B2B and B2G marketing, is that of building and nurturing a brand. If a brand has a good reputation, consumers, businesses, and government agencies are more likely to purchase that brand. Logos, packaging, and other brand components help create an affinity between the brand and a target segment of consumers, businesses, or government entities, which encourages the selection of the product over a competitor’s option.

B2B MARKETING

B2B marketing takes place when a business sells its products and services to other businesses. This includes marketing to businesses that conduct business for a profit and to those organizations that have a non-profit charter. Business purchase decisions, unlike consumer decisions, tend to require more planning and a more complex, formal purchase decision process.

The Purchase Process

Man-reading-business-newspaperBusinesses purchase many products and services including desks, chairs, computers, and office equipment for their employees, raw materials for manufacturing, software systems for operations, and various services to assist with marketing, IT, accounting, and other business functions. Similar to B2C marketing, some B2B purchases are critical needs, while others are discretionary purchases. Most businesses have a formal purchasing process which includes procedures for requests, approvals, procurement, and payment. Often there is a cost/benefit analysis to ensure the purchase is not only needed but is the best alternative. In the business world, there are many stakeholders in the purchasing process. Including those that influence, recommend, and have authority to purchase. Therefore, a B2B marketer must fully understand the needs of the organization to which they are selling, as well as the organization’s buying process and the stakeholders in that buying process.

Similar to B2C, B2B marketers conduct marketing research to segment their market and develop marketing communications focused on the needs and wants of the target audience. Possible B2B segments include industry sectors, business size (small, medium, large), and common needs (such as agency knowledge of compliance regulations). Because of the longer and more complex buying process, B2B marketers focus on building a relationship with its business prospects and clients. While also addressing the buyer’s specific information needs at each step in the buying process.

B2G MARKETING

B2G marketing refers to businesses that sell their goods and services to government agencies. A major difference as compared to B2B and B2C is that in the B2G model, companies generally respond to requirements published by a certain government entity through a structured bidding process. This bidding process can take place online in real time and can be highly competitive. For example, as part of a bid a company may publish its “Statement of Capabilities,” which describes the company’s products and services pertinent to the government project. A company may also include a “Proposal of Service” which refers to specific information in the request for proposal (RFP) or request for information (RFI). B2G sales and marketing is sometime referred to as public sector marketing.

business man walking in subwayThe Buying Cycle

The buying cycle for B2G can be quite long—measured in years, as compared to several months for B2B, or a day to several weeks for B2C. The B2G marketer must understand and comply with bid specifications, compliance regulations, and applicable laws. This sometimes means the B2G marketer may not have personal interactions with agency contacts needing the products or services detailed in the bid until the bid is awarded by the contracting officer. The bidding process can vary significantly between local, state, and federal government entities.

In Conclusion

To summarize, marketers in B2C, B2B, and B2G, must all be able to:

  • Send messages to their target audiences
  • Know their customers or clients, how to segment the market into meaningful audience groups, and how to reach the target audience with informational and promotional messages
  • Understand the difference between absolute needs and discretionary purchases, and understand their clients’ options to fulfill those needs and wants
  • Build and nurture their brand

The Main Point

Differences between the marketing strategies of B2C, B2B, and B2G include:

  • The focus on a particular role of the person:
    B2C marketers market to the person as consumer;
    B2B marketers market to the person as a business decision maker or influencer;
    B2G marketers market to the person as a government contracting officer or representative, or government program manager.
    The purchase decision for B2C is less complex than the process that goes into selling and marketing B2B or B2G. This is due to the number of people involved in the purchase process. As well as the need to understand and comply with organizational processes for requesting, approving, procuring, and paying for purchases.
    Typically, the buying process is shortest for B2C, longer for B2B, and longest for B2G.
    B2G marketing model businesses generally respond to requirements published by a certain government entity. For example, a public, structured bidding process.
    What are the key challenges in your marketing strategy? Please share below.

About CATMEDIA
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA.com

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