Matt Andresen

Former mascot, banker, co-owner of web analytics co. and financial advising co. Currently PR, content and analytics marketing dude with Cleland Marketing.

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Why are You Losing Sales? Perhaps Your Trust Gauge is Low.

Marketing and Behavior-Change Mashup

The way that I see it, all businesses with a Web presence are participating in a behavior-change lifecycle. Whether they know it or not.

Just like teaching someone to quit smoking involves awareness of the benefits to a healthier lifestyle, so does your business require raising awareness among the market for its benefits and market value-proposition.

Creating Awareness Touchstones

Marketing is traditionally seen as the process of building a base and creating touchstones for contact. Through social media engagement, you can create awareness of your brand through consistency. Whether your platform-of-choice is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, or some other flavor, they each offer the ability to connect with the untapped market.

By being consistent with your social media engagement, your audience can rely upon you. And, if your message is a value-proposition that resonates with your audience, customers will become more aware through consistency.

Your Trust Gauge

Your audience will reach a point where they will be ready to explore your product or service. At this time, you will have built trust through consistency with engagement in your social media platform. They will have increased confidence that you are able to deliver upon your value-proposition, because you’ve been reliable and consistent.

Through responding with your platform to current customers, you show care in the success of delivery of your product or service. If customers voice dissatisfaction, you want to let them know:

  1. You hear them.
  2. You care that there was a failure.
  3. And, you will do whatever you can to help that customer achieve their needs and remedy the situation.

On the positive side, when customers voice satisfaction or gratification to you through your social media platform, encourage evangelism. Through Yelp, Google Local, or Yahoo reviews, Facebook Likes, or Twitter Recommendations. They can recommend or endorse you on LinkedIn, or provide a testimonial for your website.

Recognize and celebrate your happy customers. Make them feel good for having gone with your brand. Again, like helping someone quit smoking, you want to have them feel part of a successful community. Recommendations to friends and testimonials are not only beneficial to you, but also beneficial for your customers in fostering a growing successful community.

Inevitable Goal Tending

The resounding note that you want to leave with your social media platform is that you care about helping people achieve their goals, and not just in making a single-sale. You are encouraging behavior-change and fostering of a successful and happy community of customers.

By building your trust gauge through consistency and engagement with social media, you’re successfully nurturing a healthy marketing and customer lifecycle.

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Print is dead? Not when you get down to Brass tacks…

Print is not dead, but it seems to be getting demoted and in the case of newsweek…fired! In a recent article by Kai Ryssdal, Newsweek magazine calls it quits, Kai points out what many are calling the inevitable, but is hesitant in his praise of the move saying, “Newsweek may or may not make it, but what this does is say — more and more and more —  that news and media are going to live digitally. That’s where we have to go.”

I believe print should still exist and folks should transition into digital slowly, or “have a high tolerance for unproven investment,” according to Barry Diller, whose company IAC has a controlling stake in Newsweek Daily Beast. Although some have been saying print is dead since 1984: Egon’s thoughts on print in Ghostbusters.

At Brass Media Inc., the digital transition was happening as I first began working for the 10-year-old company.  At Brass we believe print is important, but it may be better suited existing as  a co-pilot. Brass started out as a magazine and now their secret sauce is in an Exchange of information.  Our target audience are young adults and our goal is interesting topics on the Money side of Life.

Forbes put forth a short article, Print is Dead? Not so Fast., gets to the point better than I do. They talk about some of the advantages of print, like tangibility, credibility, branding, target marketing, more engaging and less print ads and show an example of how QR Codes could play a role in bridging the digital gap.  In the end, as the article concludes it perfectly: “Finding the right balance between various media will ensure a steady revenue flow, an increase in sales and new customers.”  So think twice before delving into dogmatic change.

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Bank Spotlight: Middleburg Bank – The Mascot Approach to Marketing

Adopting a mascot at your financial institution could significantly help engagement with your customers, while making your branding efforts easier.  One financial institution, Middleburg Bank, has not necessarily out foxed anyone, but rather out focused other banks in their marketing approach around their “spokesfox”, Mosby.

As Mosby says on Middleburg Bank’s Website: ” I have been associated with the Bank since 1924, when the first office of Middleburg Bank opened across from the Red Fox Inn. ‘Why is a fox associated with Middleburg Bank?’ you might ask. Well, for generations, we foxes have long been a part of the culture of Middleburg and the surrounding areas of Virginia. As the fox is an intelligent, resourceful animal (if I do say so myself), I was chosen to represent the spirit of the bank and I’ve been an integral part of the Bank’s identity for many years. A couple of years ago, the Bank wisely made the decision to feature me as their “spokesfox” and since that time, my role within the Bank has continued to grow. In fact, last month Gary let me take over the Bank’s Facebook page and interact there with our many clients and fans.”

I’m on hundreds of bank websites/social media pages each week and Middleburg Bank really stands out, thanks to Mosby.  In talking to Robert Miller, Chief Marketing Officer at Middleburg Bank, he says that without Mosby, their marketing would look very different “with messages built around products, rates and commitment to the community.  While we still touch on some of those things in our
current marketing, using Mosby has allowed us to develop a distinctive identity, voice and personality.  We believe that over the long haul, this approach will drive the brand’s likeability and help separate us from the pack.”

I can identify with this, stemming from a couple of my own experiences.  Universities use mascot’s for the same purpose as banks; to symbolize the identity of the group, school, city or community for which it represents.   I was the Cougar mascot (Butch T. Cougar) of Washington State University.  I was surprised about how much time I had to put in to understand the personality of Washington State’s beloved mascot.  The Cougar mascot before me was Blitz the Seahawk for the Seattle Seahawks and he helped train me.  This may sound silly, but there were three of us all playing the role of Butch T. Cougar and we all needed to have the same walk, mannerisms etc.  They took this serious enough that I was not allowed to tell anyone who I was.   It was to remain a secret until right before I graduated.

Yet another example comes from when I did a couple of appearances as Chase the Dog, while working for Chase Bank.  Now, I was there during the “fun” occupy movement and let’s just say Chase wasn’t seen as the best bank in the universe, yet there was more engagement happening in our branch around a mascot that couldn’t talk then we had prior.  People could identify with the personality of a dog; loyal, happy, loveable and eager to meet new people.

So what’s the point?  Well, so many financial institutions have enough people working on marketing, that it’s hard to find one voice or one personality.  Having one voice and personality is so important and nobody knows what that voice and personality looks and sounds like better than the bank.  There is an Irish Proverb that says, “The fox never found a better messenger than himself.” This is so important because if someone else does all the work, you may have a very different voice/personality and this could compromise your brand.  When asked by folks why I love Washington State so much, all I have to do is describe the personality of the mascot I worked so hard to become; Courageous no matter what, community focused, VERY spirited, kind, and willing to waive the flag anytime, anywhere.  How do you easily describe your bank’s voice/personality without your financial institution just adding to all the white noise? I know how Middleburg Bank does…

Middleburg Bank’s Website Logo

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A Family Tradition: The Boys in Blue

The Andresen Family

In the photo on the left, I am the only male without a baseball shirt, probably out of protest for not going to Disneyland afterwords and to show I wasn’t a fan of the the baseball park experience.  Of course I look back and laugh because  I love Dodger stadium and the Dodgers, but I get a lot of questions about my loyalty given where I live (Corvallis, OR) and my sudden reemerged passion.  I get asked if I like the Lakers too, but I just answer, nope I kind of hate them.  Why, you ask? Well my Dad wasn’t a basketball fan and how can you not love the Portland Trail Blazers (literally the best fans in the country).

Here is a quick breakdown of why I love them (as told to a friend):
My dad kind of tried to get us to be Mariner fans growing up to no avail. Instead I picked the Braves because Dave Justice was my first baseball card. Later I started to somewhat root for the Dodgers because my Uncle, Dad and Grandma were very big fans.

Obviously 1988 is a very vivid memory for me. My dad and my uncle made a video which some of the kids starred in, having a Dodger fan trying to tell a Giants fan not to jump to their death over the outcome of the Kirk Gibson World Series.

When my Grandma moved to Corvallis shortly after my Grandpa’s death, we became very close. I use to go have lunch and/or dinner with her and then watch a Dodger game. She must have been one of the few people flirting with 90 that had the MLB package. She knew her Dodgers, but spent most of the time complaining about Manny Ramirez’s hair.

So the summer of 2009 wasn’t fun. My grandma died on June 10th and Dad died on August 26th. The last time the Dodgers played the Mariners, since last weekend, was the end of June 2009 and that made going to SafeCo Field to watch the game this year more meaningful.

Between ownership issues and sad associations, I kind of walked away from watching baseball, especially the Dodgers. And then when the Giants won the World Series…I really thought there wasn’t a God for a bit. Last year I watched more actively and then the beginning of this year I felt it was time to be gung-ho. Watching the Dodgers only had good memories now. I got the MLB package first thing (my grandma would of hugged me).

On the trip to L.A. in May of this year was the real moment and will forever leave a lasting impact. Kim’s grandparents and family are all HUGE Dodger fans, they watch every game. Watching the game with her grandparents was so much like watching it with my grandma and then going to the game where Kershaw pitched a complete game shutout was overwhelming. My dad had taken us to a good number of Dodger games growing up, packaged with the promise of Disneyland.  It’s funny that now I would go to Disneyland if promised a Dodger game.

To top it all off, I was finally able to keep with my dad’s wishes to spread some of his ashes on the field of Dodger Stadium. That was a very emotional moment for me. We spread his ashes at OSU’s ballpark too, but this meant more as I was in the right mindset to appreciate it.

I know that this is way more than you wanted to know, but I thought I would explain myself. In the end the Dodgers are more than just a team for me, they are a constant reminder of the Dodger baseball passion that lives in my family and at times I feel like my Dad and Grandma are present watching the game with me. The Dodgers not only symbolize how I have moved on, but also how I carry a healthy remembrance of the fans that have left us. Go Boys in Blue!

My dad and his Blue Crew Boys.

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The Heart of my experience

Corvallis, Oregon

Corvallis, in latin literally means Heart of the Valley.  It is more than that to me.  As much as I would love to say I was born and raised here, I can’t.  I was born in Seattle, Washington and moved here when I was 2-years-old. Nothing against Seattle, but a big part of what defines you is not where you were born, but where you are from.  Many of my passions (education, faith, fitness and sports) stem from this place.  Corvallis has a higher education rate per capita than any other city in the State of Oregon and one of highest in the country.  While I live in one of the most unchurched counties in the U.S. I still have a faith stemming from my Pasor Uncle relocating here in 1990.  In regards to fitness, Corvallis boasts to be one of the most bicycle friendly towns in the U.S. and one of the healthiest. To fulfill my sports passion, I live in Beaver Nation, home of Oregon State University (my girlfriend literally lives across the street from the football stadium).

Admittedly, I went to Washington State University and have a strong passion for the Wazzu Cougars (I even was the mascot), but I also love and follow the Beavers. I could go on and on about Corvallis being the greenest city in america, the safest city in america and one of the top in pushing out pattents, but I’ll spare you.  I think you get the idea.  I just love my home town.  If you would like to know more about the town that helped mold me into who I am today check out the Visit Corvallis page.  For the more visually inclined, here is a Corvallis song complete with capured images of the town I love.  Cheers.