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Earlier in December, Guest Relations Marketing engaged renowned photographer Jimmy Williams to showcase the beautifully designed Miromar Lakes private residential community, near Naples, Florida.

The vision of Miromar Lakes’ founder to create a resort-style lifestyle based on the Mediterranean Riviera is portrayed brilliantly in Jimmy’s work. Miromar Lakes was named #1 community in the nation by the NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders) in 2011.

Stay tuned to see the ad campaign featuring this amazing photography, but for now take a look at our behind-the-scenes shots:

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Are You That One Intern We’re Looking For?

Why do you want to intern?

You’re looking for an opportunity to gain school credit?

You are seeking to get real-world experience?

You’re ready to launch your career?

You had an advertising campaigns class and really liked it?

Mom or Dad said you have to get out of the house and do something?

Those are all nice reasons. But those are not us.

We’re looking for one intern. That one.

We’re about creating more zealots for our clients.

We’re zealots for our clients.

We’re zealots about our work.

Our intern? That one?

A zealot. A zealot for inventing, creating, solving, satisfying and doing.

Our interns are on the firing line.  No hiding here.

No auditing our program. You’re in the game. Real work. Real involvement with clients. Real problems to solve. Real opportunity.

We’re looking, too. For that one.

Passionate. Intelligent. Witty. Teammate. Winner. A Zealot for Life.

Our internship is not a “give back to the community” program. We’re looking for the one individual who is bursting to get in the game, start practicing their craft and change the way marketing happens.

Our interns get to do a lot of work. It usually results in a real job. Because they will have proven they can do real work.

Guest Relations Marketing is almost eight years old. And our track record with interns is pretty stellar. Two we’ve hired permanently. Two have really awesome jobs. The partners of Guest Relations established an intern program at their previous agency. The program became so renowned that other agencies called to interview and hire our interns.

Nothing fancy here. Just one great opportunity. For one great intern. Are you the one?

Tell us why. Submit your resume, cover letter, writing samples and what you are a zealot for.  Email April: avoris@guestrelationsmarketing.com.

Guest Relations Marketing is growing! Yes, big news for us back at the brand shop. As a result, we’d like to give somebody an extraordinary Christmas gift… a new job!

We are currently looking to hire somebody for an entry level position. However, those with 1-2 years of experience should also apply. Below is more information:

Job Description:

Guest Relations Marketing is seeking an entry level marketing coordinator, responsible for executing marketing tasks through day to day activity in social media, production, online communications, and other traditional marketing. The new member will be responsible for supporting our team on daily client projects as well as providing administrative support.

 

Desired Skills and Experience

• Bachelor’s degree required with a concentration in marketing or advertising

• Superb writing skill including the ability to convey a witty warm and clever voice across multiple platforms

• Exceptional verbal communication skills

• Passionate about what you do

• Experience with social media

• Desire to learn and grow

• Organized

• A Creative thinker

• Exude zealotry qualities

• Ability to multi-task and manage a diverse workload with shifting deadlines and priorities

• A sense of humor

 

Compensation and Incentives:

This is an Entry level position. Compensation is dependent on experience and how well you sell yourself.

Base salary and overall bonus will be reviewed annually and adjusted based on overall agency financial performance and situation.

100% Health and Dental Insurance to Employee.

10 days paid vacation.

13 paid holidays.

Paid training allowance (to be established) for continuing education related to this position.

 

About Guest Relations Marketing

GRM is at heart a brand marketing agency, focused on building programs that drive referrals.  Our approach is to build more “zealots” for our clients’ brands and products.  We’ve coined it, “Zealotry Marketing.” Customer engagement is key to referral – strengthening the relationship between client and their “zealots”; among and through zealots (to their contacts); building new zealots through engagement and targeting like-minded prospects.

Visit www.guestrelationsmarketing.com for more.

To be considered for this position please email April Voris – avoris@guestrelationsmarketing.com with cover letter, resume, writing samples and what you are a zealot for.

Dear #hashtag user,

I’ve noticed recently that you are quite the fan of this clever linking device. However, I think that you misunderstood its purpose of functionality. You see, the hashtag was created as a method to “tag” tweets, essentially adding organization to the clutter that consumes the Twitter-sphere.

For example, if I were hoping to connect with people in the fashion industry, I could search #fashion and, immediately, thousands of tweets would show up that include the same hashtag. By searching #Obamacare, I can access the opinion and news results of all who are discussing the controversial matter.

Upon conception, the hashtag was (and still is) a brilliant piece of digital creation.

However, I have noticed that you, Mr./Mrs. hashtag user, have used this tool completely out of context. The hashtag is no longer a method of organization, but is now a form of language that is substituting complete thoughts.

Examples include:

“Looking forward to my trip to the Bahamas. Is Friday here yet!? #excited #cantwait”

or

“This weather is killing me! All I want to do it go for a run, but I can’t in this rain. #RainRainGoAway”

What, on Earth, has the use of these hashtags accomplished? Personally, I am a fan of how GIZMODO phrased its frustration, stating, “But at their most annoying, the colloquial hashtag has burst out of its use as a sorting tool and become a linguistic tumor—a tic more irritating than any banal link or lazy image meme.”

Now, I’m not calling you lazy. No, this annoying use of the English language is not lazy. However, these simple misapplications of a hashtag have turned into a much larger infraction.

Recently, you have begun using hashtags as a way to self promote, hoping that the more hashtags you use in a post, the more likely you will acquire new followers. Your thought is similar to the practices of SEO – use key words and hopefully show up in search results.

A word to the wise? When you do this – people like me will ignore your post completely.

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This is merely a desperate attempt at being seen. Seriously? How many people are searching the hashtags #orange or #thegreatpumpkin?

So, I beg of you, Mr. or Mrs. hashtag user. Think before you # it.

Don’t believe me? Then check out this video of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. They have no qualms about showing you how stupid you sound when misusing hashtags.

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 8.52.48 PMGRM spent some time at the lake this summer. But we weren’t sipping on lemonade. We were hard at work on a branding research assignment, partnering with Resource Branding & Design on a new advertising campaign for Reynolds Plantation.

Reynolds is recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the top 12 private golf communities in the US. New owner MetLife and new development company Daniel Corp. are looking for a new campaign that accurately reflects the future direction of this upscale Georgia community. GRM’s initial role was to develop a brand strategy in advance of new creative work. We conducted qualitative research to solve perhaps the biggest piece of the puzzle – how to position this active, successful community to a new generation of buyers. Stay tuned… the proof is in the work. A peek behind the curtain suggests good stuff coming soon!

Retailers are constantly working to stay ahead of the social marketing curve. Whether they’re using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram (to name a few), they are thinking of new ways for their products to get in front of a large audience. Better yet? To get in front of a large audience at minimal cost.

Over the years, Facebook has proven to be a productive way of referring customers to your website.

The formula: Interesting Images + Engaging content + Links = Increased Web Traffic

However, there is a limitation to what Facebook provides. Once the platform introduced the People Talking About This metric (PTAT), it shortly became no secret that when a brand page posts something, only a small percentage of its fans will see the post. You are required to solicit engagement from your fans, or actually pay money, to reach a more reasonable percentage of your followers.

Oh, bah humbug!

But, wait! That’s the beauty behind Pinterest. It’s a visually stimulating and free website that allows you to promote your products to thousands of people. Not to mention, that people who are using it are searching for ways to be inspired.

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Don’t believe me? A recent research study conducted by BloomReach showed that Pinterest traffic spent 60% more than traffic coming from Facebook and converted to a sale 22% more than Facebook.

We recently put the numbers to the test for one of our retail clients by working with a popular fashion blogger. She simply took a picture of a cute monogrammed tumbler, posted it to her social channels, and allowed us to also use the image for promotional purposes.

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The key to success was not that we simply used Pinterest – but that we partnered with an influential women in the blogging/Pinterest space. Through this partnership, we were able to reach people who were our client’s target customers, but may have never heard of our client’s brand.

Here are some top line results from the Pinterest/Blogger partnership:

  • The image was repinned 1,100 times in a two week period
  • Referral traffic accounted for 50% of total website traffic
  • In a 30 day period, 49,940 website visits came from Pinterest
  • The product pictured above received 65,633 page views in that same 30 day period
  • The client received the highest monthly website traffic in the store’s history

Wow! Those results obviously made for a very happy client.

Curious at how Facebook compared to the Pinterest giant? Through posting the same exact image on our client’s Facebook account, we were able to garner just over 1,000 website visits. Hm, seems pretty obvious to me that Pinterest won this battle.

Game. Set. Match.

rebranding-seoOutgrown the old marketing materials? Business changing course? We hear you. And your stalled brand is GRM’s sweet spot. We have a history (and a good one, if we do say so ourselves) of restaging brands to be able to better compete, not just today, but in the future.

We’re excited to take on a new client – the American Salvage Pool Association.

Sound familiar? Probably not. Unless you’re not in the insurance or auto after-market business, that is. Stay tuned. Our aim is to present the passion and integrity of this group in a contemporary and competitive way. The ASPA has a good story. We relish the opportunity to help them share it in new and relevant ways.

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 1.33.06 PMClient CURE Childhood Cancer has a lot of amazing supporters. And one of GRM’s favorites is NFL Linebacker Gary Guyton. For Gary, watching kids fighting cancer truly touches his heart. He’a a Zealot for sure. That’s why Gary has rallied some of his NFL friends and joined forces with CURE for their May 5th event Lauren’s Run & CURE Annual Picnic.

Lauren’s Run (the annual 5K, 2K, and Tot Trot) begins at 8:00am at Concourse Office Park in Atlanta, GA. Following Lauren’s Run, all race participants are invited to the CURE Annual Picnic. There, your family will enjoy lunch and an abundance of games – including the Gary Guyton Flag Football game. Just look for the Flag Football registration table at Lauren’s Run check-in to sign up for a time to play. The football game is free – all you need to do is register for Lauren’s Run. Click here to sign up and support this worthwhile cause. Keep your eyes peeled for GRM – we’ll be there on race day!

Check out some of the great commercials we filmed with Gary and 11Alive. It was a fun day on set for all of us – and the kids.



Recently, Pinterest announced its own Web Analytics tool for owners of verified Pinterest pages.

“Bloggers, businesses, and organizations often ask us, ‘what are people pinning from my websites?’ These website owners help create the content on Pinterest and we wanted to help them understand which pieces of content people find most interesting,” says Pinterest. “[This is] a first step towards doing just that. Web Analytics gives site owners insights into how people are interacting with pins that originate from their websites.”

Pinterest Analytics

Prior to this, Pinterest page owners relied on third-party apps for measurement data.

For those who have a verified website, you will now have access to:

  • How many people have pinned from your site
  • How many people have seen these pins
  • How many people visited your site from Pinterest
  • Most repinned pins
  • Most clicked pins
  • Most recent pins

To get started, just follow these steps:

1. Get early access to Pinterest’s new look.

2. Make sure you have a verified website. If you have a website listed on your profile with a check mark next to it, you’re verified. If not, follow these steps to verify.

3. Once your website is verified, go to the top right menu and click on Analytics.

4. Start exploring! Change your date range to see how things have changed over time or download your analytics to sort through the data on your own time.

Recent blog from Harvard Business Review expounded the virtues of CEOs using social media. They cited several facts, some of which don’t exactly make the case.  For instance, LinkedIn was the most used medium (26% of CEOs surveyed), however only 4% use Twitter.  Another study predicts CEO use of social media will rise from 16% to 57% in the next 5 years.

Old+School+RocksBeyond “keeping up with the Jones,” here’s a take on why involvement in social media makes sense for CEOs.  Now. Two “old school” reasons:  building trust and gaining insights.

First, social media is about accountability if nothing else. Where does “the buck stop” in a company?  With the CEO of course.  Companies that engage in social media are 82% more likely to be trusted.  Want to be trusted?  Want to convey authenticity?  Play in social media.

And, CEOs love insights … into their customers, how their products are perceived and “what could be.”  Social media, unlike any other media, offers the opportunity for spontaneous research.  Without the recruitment, the staging or the pretense.  Most importantly, the CEO that engages in such forums, not only gains a new appreciation about his customers’ perceptions, he will gain brownie points in terms of referral.  How likely will a customer tweet or post an online discussion they have with the company’s CEO?  How will their followers view the company?

As CEOs discover that social media offers traditional tasks they personally value, more will jump on the bandwagon.

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