Category Archives: Blog

What Have You Learned So Far? (Week of 11/10/2014)

I could easily sum this post up in two words; a ton. From learning how to apply what I learned in classes, to learning industry and digital channel specific techniques, I have been absorbing a 2,00 pound load of information.

I constantly apply my in classroom learning of the customer conversion funnel, to the company websites to explore not only how to direct a customer to a website, but also how to direct them through their entire visit.  I constantly review data on how our customers interact and react once they land on a page.  I review where customers drop off from the site and explore the reasons behind their decision to leave the site.  I’ve learned how to work with multiple groups on coordinating tests to improve the experience for the customer. I make sure that not only are the tests scientifically sound, but also purpose driven. I ensure that I introduce test ideas that are built to improve access, save the customer time, or open new avenues.

One of the biggest takeaways I have gained in my position so far, is often the simplest and most effective way to find out how to improve customer experience is to go to the source: Ask the customer. With the growing influence of the millennial generation it becomes even more important to open lines of communication to crowd-source what customers are experiencing.  By asking the customer about their experience, one can get real-time input on any potential outages, and input on what customers are truly looking for from your site.

I look forward to adding another ton to my knowledge in the next few weeks.  Look for my next entry on what I have been reading and make sure to thank our veterans on this Tuesday for Veteran’s day!

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How Is That New Job of Yours?

Well first of all let me review my actual position and the duties that come with the position, because I really do not want to be Chandler from “Friends” (see video below).

So I am not a “Transponster,” I am working as a Marketing Associate for the marketing company Foundry 9.  Working with Foundry 9, my work duties are actually contracted out to one of their biggest clients, J.P. Morgan Chase.  Working in the Chase building, I work on the Acquisition Capabilities Team to market their branded and partner credit cards in various digital channels.  I work heavily with the different applications that a customer will fill out for a credit card and research and test for ways to make the experience less obtrusive to the customer and increasing the acquisition rate of new cardmembers. My role also has me fill in for other members on the team for their various projects, which allows me to expand my learning in many different marketing strategies, including direct mail and direct sales.

I have enjoyed working in this position, as I close in on working here for two months, and can keep smiling everyday even as my workload increases.  As with any new position and company, I have had to adjust to different procedures and expectations, but I have allowed my coachability to shine through and make the transition smooth.  I want to thank everyone that helped me obtain this position.

Look for a “What Have You Learned” post coming soon.

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Do You Work Well With Other People?

The short answers is yes.

I thrive in collaborative environments where there is a mutual give and take of knowledge.  I have always worked in team environments with my long background in athletics.  I love being able to see solutions from others perspectives, and I look for positions that offer that environment.  At my internship with the KUSBDC, I worked in constant collaboration with team members for our clients.  I enjoyed the ability to help others in the team and have the team help review my work.  I find that teamwork is the key to an enjoyable workplace experience.

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Does Marketing Work?

This question often floats in front of many people when evaluating marketing for their company strategies.  Well I have an excellent example of the effectiveness of marketing.

Imagine you create a worthy product that has three other competitors in the market.  Your product is similar to your competitors but 85% of your market has never heard of you.  Is your product bad, should you abandon and restart with a new product or market? If you haven’t put together a marketing campaign, don’t prematurely abandon your product.  Make sure to hit on the emotional reasons as to why consumers will pick your product and help them make an emotional attachment.  Jump out on your competitors and spread your message early and often to capture the market share and build a strong and loyal consumer base.

Okay, I’m not really talking about a product, actually I am discussing the campaign of recent Pennsylvania Democratic Gubernatorial nominee, Tom Wolf.  Political campaigns are all about marketing and connecting to consumers/voters.  If you want to review the effectiveness of getting your message out early and getting huge returns on the advertisements, then you have to analyze the Tom Wolf campaign.

The campaign was extremely effective getting their television ads out early, January 30th, and gave the candidate uncontested air time for almost nine weeks.  Yes, the campaign put together a huge advertising budget, but the poll results validated the spending.  Facing three other opponents Mr. Wolf won 58 percent of the vote, followed by candidates at 18 percent, 17 percent, and 8 percent.  I see this campaign as a brilliant example for any product launch in a new market.

(Disclaimer: I did volunteer on the Tom Wolf campaign but this article is supposed to be an unbiased review of the marketing campaign.)

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Nathan, What Motivates You?

I am an extremely self-motivated individual.  I have always been able to push myself towards goals without any outside help.  I thrive off the feeling of accomplishment and always look for ways to improve myself.  My background as a track athlete helps show my ability to motivate myself by competing in an individual sport.  The only competitor in track is the clock and I pushed myself to complete every workout and refine my form to better myself.

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What Marketing Campaigns Do You Admire? (Week of 3/21/2014)

Winter rolls around dumping snow and hiding the sun, but it also brings out the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.  I love the yearly release of the magazine from a strictly marketing perspective for two reasons.  The second campaign I review is the Lowe’s and Home Depot and other newspaper advertisements.

The first reason to love the Swimsuit Edition is the reasoning behind its release.  50 years ago SI faced winter with a slow sports season that affected the quality of their product.  To keep readers interested and the subscriptions rolling in, SI decided to release an issue with bikini-clad women to fill a few pages.  The features quickly grew in popularity until 1997, when the Swimsuit Edition went to all models and SI elevated its name to the elite.  I love how they took a slow period and created a cornerstone to their brand.  It serves as a lesson to many content marketers to build a calendar for your content sharing to allow freedom to create another feature.

The second reason why I love the Swimsuit Edition is the advertisements SI features.  The effort the marketers put in to their ads to make them match the theme of the issue is incredible.  The ads featuring their own swimsuit clad models, such as Dodge Ram Trucks, help the reader pay attention to the ads because they look like the content of the magazine.  The cologne ads highlight the feeling in the magazine that one can get these beautiful women with their enticing smell product. This seamless marketing technique is a great case study for any marketer.

If you ever get the newspaper you also get the weekly ads tucked with the other sections. These ads feature the sales at the big chain stores including Boscov’s, JCPenney, and different grocery outlets.  Most of these ads are printed on shiny paper featuring brightly colored fruits, and apparel deals. Two ads that quickly pop out as different are the Lowes and Home Depot ads.  The ads are printed with high quality ink, but don’t have the shiny look or feel to them.  These companies are working with a total marketing approach by printing on a newspaper style paper to show off the grittiness of their products.  They help the consumer think of home improvement and set them in the mindset to purchase the products and take on their project.

One suggestion I have for newspaper advertisers: If you using localized marketing tactics release your ads for days where there is predicted significant snowfall because the consumer will be delayed heading to work and will look to pass the time with your advertisements.

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Nathan Caruso, How Can I Guarantee You Will Stay With My Company?

I can’t.  Any employee that promises to stay is just lying.  There are key factors that will make me stay with your company. Those factors, in order of importance, include advancement opportunities, creative environment, and a collaborative culture.

I want the ability to advance myself. 
I always work best with a goal in sight, and hate the feeling of not achieving a goal.  If a company offers me the chance to continue to grow and achieve, it would be very hard for me to leave without exhausting every opportunity that I am provided.

I want the ability to be creative. 
Every task has multiple processes that can achieve the same end result.  I love being able to put my own twist on a task.  My creativity allows me to take ownership and lots of pride in my work, and brings out my best work.  A company that allows me to work through my problems will reap huge rewards through my hardwork and intense loyalty.

 I want to be a part of a collaborative culture. 
My favorite work environment was with the KUSBDC that featured a culture built around collaboration.  Each employee worked together and small ideas became perfect ideas.  I thrive in positive, team environments and it would be very hard to let my team down just leaving.

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