What Are Your Marketing Resolutions for 2012?

I have to admit…I didn’t “see it coming”.  The end of the year is already upon us.  As we reflect on many aspects of our professional and personal lives, now is a good time to set goals for the year ahead – and if you haven’t already…write them down to track your progress and successes.

If it isn’t already, incorporating social media into your business’ marketing plan for 2012 should be high on your lists of resolutions, according to Business To Community. The online resource offers up a wide variety of helpful tips for small business owners looking to maximize their social media presence in the new year.

Developing and growing a Facebook fan page is obviously become more important than ever, as it offers free business advertising with every “like” while providing an inexpensive way to offer deals and incentives.

As popular as Facebook has become, it’s wise to diversify your social media portfolio. In addition to Facebook, creating profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube are also very important. Each channel should provide links to the others to encourage customers to follow the company across as many different avenues as possible.

Getting your social media pages established and visually branded alike is just the start of a comprehensive social presence – adding relevant and engaging content is the key to engaging, and growing your audience of loyal fans and followers.

So… what are you doing reading this?  Get started!  And know that social media is just one slice of the “marketing pie” that you’ll need to focus on in 2012.

What other marketing plans are you making for the New Year?  We’d love to hear about your goals, plans and challenges.

Changing Reno’s Brand Perception

Those of you who read this blog from time to time know that I’m fanatical about Reno’s brand perception problems and challenges.  I’ve had more than my share of rants and conversations about the topic, and have tried to keep it light when it seemed that there literally was no hope of ever having Reno thought of again as “fun and contemporary“.

Our old gaming perception had come home to roost, our messaging really wasn’t connecting with our audience, and we were coupled with one of the worst economic recessions on record.  The Reno brand has been last to rebound economically for a number of reasons (which is an entirely different range of discussions).

Since December of 2010, I have been working closely on a project that I believed could help start a new conversation about what downtown Reno is now…and what it could be very quickly. Having worked with this same developer on the Montage, I knew his visions could quickly turn into reality .   Just by chance, the property in the developer’s eye was attached to the one iconic symbol of Reno that most people know well – The Reno Arch.  “Location, location, location” – I thought.  Here is ground zero for change.

And now, after several months of planning, I’m happy to announce a project that I believe will help to change Reno’s perception as a destination: CommRow.

Formerly the Fitzgerald Hotel Casino, CommRow will be an entirely different, and complimentary brand to gaming.  We’re positioning this new property as an “urban adventure resort”… featuring an impressive indoor rock climbing facility, and (wait for it….) – the world’s tallest climbing wall.  Quite a billing for Reno – and a new market to talk to our tourists both new and old.

Key to a development of this size and scope, parking and accessibility are issues that are paramount to long-term success.  And so the resolution of a long-standing problem with the garage once a part of the Fitzgerald became a cornerstone issue to finalize our path.  As of this week, that resolution has taken place, and CommRow is on its way to a truly monumental grand opening this year.

More important than tourism (can you imagine!?), is how CommRow will be perceived (and hopefully adopted) by our local community.  How we treat each guest will far outweigh the return on the millions of dollars going into renovations and additions.  How CommRow connects to our community will determine its short and long-term success.  I’m a little giddy over the opportunity to help create those connections and watch them grow.

There’s much work to do in a very short timeframe to open this facility on Labor Day of 2011 – and I have faith that it will be done.  Beyond the obvious marketing and advertising needs to launch a property of this size and type, making lasting relationships with vendors and community organizations is key to establishing CommRow as a truly passionate community brand.

Stay tuned for details via Facebook and Twitter as we roll-out products and details between now and the end of this summer!

And of course connect with CommRow on Facebook if you want to stay up to date on this project.

Award Winning Creative Director Joins Nevada Branding Collaborative

Nevada’s innovative branding, marketing and advertising collaborative is honored to announce that Martin Amba has joined its core strategic team as Creative Director.

Amba has gained invaluable experience with many of the region’s most prestigious advertising agencies, including the Glenn Group (formerly Rose-Glenn), BBC (formerly DMBB), the Estopona Group (formerly EnVision), Art Associates and Global Studio.

Throughout his advertising agency career, Amba has developed, directed and managed many of Nevada’s most notable accounts, including the Eldorado Hotel Casino, Caesars Palace, RSCVA, Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Authority, RTC, Carson-Tahoe Hospital, PolyPhaser, Reno Diagnostic Centers, King 888 Energy Drink, Howard Hughes, Summerlin, Nevada State Bank, Wells Fargo, and Greater Nevada Credit Union.

Since moving to Northern Nevada from the California Bay Area, Martin has consistently proven himself as one of the area’s most successful advertising professionals. His creative direction has garnered over 120 local, regional and national advertising and marketing awards for both effectiveness and creativity. Amba has also been sought out as a highly qualified judge for many professional advertising award shows; such as the Honolulu Advertising Club’s PELE Awards and the Silicon Valley Advertising Club’s ADDY Awards.

Martin is co-founder of the Advertising Association of Northern Nevada (A2N2) and has served on numerous boards of directors, including the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Council of Governors, AAF District 14 Governor, Advertising Reno Advertising Club President, Truckee Meadows Community College Graphics Communications, and the Sierra Nevada Girl Scouts.

When he’s  not “making the world safer from bad advertising”, Martin is has developed his skills as an accomplished martial artist. As a two-time national black belt sparring champion,  he continues his dedication as a member of the world championship martial arts team, “Team Proper”, which competes throughout the United States.

“Martin is a truly amazing addition to our innovative team of professionals.  His ability to help our clients develop effective, creative solutions for today’s marketing and advertising climate is truly unsurpassed.  Plus, as our clients will soon see for themselves…he’s just a terrific, smart, easy individual to work with”, notes Larry DeVincenzi, SmartBrand’s Managing Partner.

SmartBrand continues to grow its affiliations with a wide range of individuals and services including brand strategy, advertising campaigns, social media services, media placement and public relations.  The company is currently working for clients in both Reno and Las Vegas.

“We’re excited to continue to successfully demonstrate how our collaborative team structure achieves lasting results for our clients, at a level of service and pricing that’s not been experienced in our region before,” notes DeVincenzi.  “Our innovative, service-oriented structure is something truly unique and effective; something our clients reap the benefits of both financially, and creatively”.

The firm has launched a new website at poweryourbrand.com.  For more information, contact hello@smartbrand.biz or call (775) 771-7004.

Get Smart(er) at the SM@RT Social Media Conference

Social media is changing the way we do business, how we communicate with clients and customers, and the way we buy and sell products.

Don’t be left behind.

The SM@RT conference delivers one of the best values of any similar conference anywhere bringing together professionals from marketing, tourism, gaming, service industries and nonprofits December 8-10, 2010, in Reno-Tahoe’s amazing ski country.

Now is a SM@RT time to invest your time and energy in social marketing. Last year found millions and millions of individuals and companies looking into ways at reaching valuable customers using tools that they had not even heard of just two years ago. In just nine months of last year, Facebook alone added 100 million users, and if it were a country, it would be the fourth most populated place on the planet. The revolution has just begun!

Expert presentations

The SM@RT conference features keynotes by David Nour and Scott Klososky, and more than two dozen presenters (including yours truly) speaking on a wide range of social media topics.

Who should attend

Designed for business professionals and those working in marketing/advertising who want to take their promotions and business strategies to the next level using social media, SM@RT is for:

  • Business owners
  • General managers
  • Marketing directors
  • Digital media marketers
  • Brand managers
  • Media/content providers
  • Communication directors
  • Advertising and sales reps
  • Professional service providers

Register early and save!

Early registration is $595 and is available until Nov. 1 (on-site registration is $750).

An amazing location

The SM@RT conference will be held December 8-10, 2010, in America’s playground, Reno-Tahoe. With the highest concentration of ski and snowboard resorts in the country, Reno is easy to reach with direct flights from the east coast and one hour flights from Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Portland, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Reno-Tahoe is just minutes away from 18 ski/board/cross-country ski areas. Summit elevations range from 7,350 to 10,100 feet and just about guarantees 20-foot snow packs and ski seasons that can last from November until the Fourth of July! SM@RT will be held at one of the area’s premier casino resorts, John Ascuaga’s Nugget, located just exits from exciting holiday shopping

Six Northern Nevada Businesses Collaborate Form Green Business Group

The Nevada Sustainable Business Alliance (NVSBA <http://nvsba.com/> ) has been formed by six local northern Nevada businesses in an effort to co-market their resources to a growing community of “green” consumers.   The organization intends to grow its membership base quickly with affordable membership rates; 50% of which will be dedicated to marketing efforts for the organization’s participants.

“We saw a need in our State for a collaborative effort to help businesses of all sizes work together to reach out to consumers.” said Lawrence Rickman, owner of Dream2Clean services.  “We’re planning events, on-going education, and networking mixers that we’re confident will help our members and consumers understand the importance of living in a sustainable fashion. The NVSBA was started to allow sustainable businesses and consumers to find one another.”

NVSBA has already begun to see it’s membership grow, and has offered other “green” businesses an “Early Bird Membership Discount” to encourage the first 25 members to join the organization.  The response has been immediate, with over ten new companies pledging their support.

“We’re requiring that our members offer some sort of special discount to the public that they can only get through contacting us through the NVSBA.com website.” Notes Larry DeVincenzi, the group’s marketing consultant from SmartBrand, a local branding firm.  “In addition to the other membership benefits, we’re confident that the affordable membership fees will be returned to our members time and again.”

The website, designed by Todd Ballowe of MetaTask Website Design, enables members to easily build and maintain a specific website for their company on the NVSBA’s system.   “This will help broaden our membership’s online reach, while adding value to their main website by increasing their visibility to the major search engines.  For the time needed to build a NVSBA website, the bottom-line returns to revenue growth will be well worth the investment.”

Debbie Cox, one of NVSBA’s Founders and owner of CHAOS office solutions, summed up the group’s drive and purpose in saying “I feel it is the job of everyone out there to make our environment and our world a better place to live.  We must start caring about how we live environmentally – the products we use, and how harmful they may be.”

“I feel sorrow when I see something on our earth that we have destroyed, or hear of someone with long-term health challenges due to exposure of some harmful substance. On the other hand, I feel a sense of excitement when I see us moving in a direction of sustainability and responsibility” John Allen of Carvel Painting said.  “When we unite with others who feel this way – big things can happen.  I look forward to connecting with, and promoting environmentally responsible companies. I see the NVSBA as an organization with huge potential to do just that.”


The NVSBA hopes you’ll consider joining us during our “early bird” membership drive.  The first 25 members will receive discounted membership fees and a free blog posting on our website.  Connect with us today!

Community e-Waste Collection Event Set For May 1st

Corporate and Nonprofit partners from around northern Nevada are collaborating to present the third annual Community e-Waste Collection Event designed to help residents properly dispose of old electronics.

New2U Computers, Disability Resources, The City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County District Health Department, Bob FM, News Channel 2, Reno News & Review, Granger, Whole Foods, and Merlone Geier Partners join forces with many community sponsors and volunteers for the e-waste recycling event on May 1st from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Park Lane Mall site.

Disposal of household electronics is provided for a $10 in advance or $15 donation per car for residents only. Vouchers can be purchased in advance for $10 from New2U Computers and Whole Foods, or on the day of the event for $15 at the site. No television sets or household appliances will be accepted. The fees obtained will cover the cost of environmentally safe recycling as well as secure data destruction than meets US Department of Defense regulations.

Residents can recycle items such as computers, laptops, monitors, keyboards, cords/cables, power supplies, printers, DVD players, and cell phones. Items that cannot be accepted are microwaves, toasters, blenders, and other similar kitchen appliances. All donations are tax deductible and a receipt will be provided.

Reusing and donating electronics responsibly is the goal of this important community recycling event. Volunteers are needed to help with the event. For more information or to volunteer please contact New2U Computers at 329-1126.

Social Media Success For Non-profits by Un Marketing

Those of us at SmartBrand share a soft spot for non-profits with the Scott Stratten –  President of Un Marketing.   When we ran across his presentation at Digital Leap, we thought it so good that you should see it too.  While this insightful presentation is geared toward non-profits, there’s plenty of solid information for anyone considering a social media campaign.

Take a moment to watch the presentation, then visit Un Marketing’s site for more information.

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