Integrated Marketing Communication: Why You Should Embrace It

Today’s business environment requires both traditional and digital media to get better results from campaigns and promotion. Marketing communications executives are integrating various media tools to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum exposure to their brand messaging.

Image source: acsmediakit.org
Image source: acsmediakit.org

From mass media to specialized media, this approach called Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) helps businesses achieve their communications objective. And it’s just not a buzzword. For years, well-known brands in various industries have delivered an integrated message across all appropriate channels.

A noteworthy proponent is Coca-Cola, which in 2006 used IMC to launch a campaign celebrating its 125th foundation. With the new brand message “Taste the Coke side of life,” the soda company utilized various marketing strategies, including advertising through quad-media, direct marketing through partnerships, and social media by launching an interactive and entertaining website.

Image source: palmsdigital.com
Image source: palmsdigital.com

Through this, Coke was successful in delivering its message not only to its consumers but also to the general public, who doesn’t necessarily have the same attitude toward the brand.

As exemplified by the campaign, integrating a brand’s marketing message and using both online and offline platforms can increase not only the visibility of a brand but also its message. Using IMC can help companies tell their stories in different mediums, which in turn could increase profits and elevate the brand reputation.

This blog blog for Steven Rindner shares more insights into marketing and business communications.

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Is a new film renaissance in the works?

Not too long ago, the film industry was having trouble keeping both critical acclaim and financial success. Lackluster blockbusters littered the streets of tinsel town, the result of a shift away from good storytelling and into recreating outlier successes of Marvel’s cinematic universe. Effects-laden monochromatic spectacles geared at an international audience had been Hollywood’s costly gamble.

Meanwhile, in a different arena, the television industry seems to have regained its muse, hitherto lost in the sea of down-market reality programming. The television industry of the millennial era had begun churning out popular and critically acclaimed dramas and action stories with production values that rival cinematic releases.

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Image source: forbes.com

But with television companies experiencing a domino effect of losses as of late, the tube may not be able to soar as high as it could without making sweeping changes to its structure. At the same time, the juggernaut film franchises of old, banking on the popularity of franchises past, are experiencing a minor rebirth. Although there have been a few hiccups, in general, the film industry has earned a remarkable turnaround, culminating in the release of Jurassic World in mid-2015. Promising to follow suit are the highly anticipated James Bond and Star Wars films, themselves resilient legacy franchises and produced with the aid of well-grounded companies known for industry expertise.

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Image source: economist.com

What would become of this newfound row of success is still uncertain. On one hand, many of these breakthroughs were from older properties, with much of their success banking on nostalgia. On the other hand, many of these successful franchises avoided some of the common clichés and false assumptions that led to the downfall of similar attempts to retool franchises. Time will tell if Hollywood would finally see its true rebirth.

Steven Rindner is a business and corporate development executive who has served in various companies across different industries. He has accumulating extensive expertise in media, technology, real estate services, and healthcare businesses. Visit this blog for more updates on key media industry issues.

Millennials and the Changing Workplace Dynamics

The millennial generation is rapidly taking over the Baby Boomers’ role as business leaders. It is estimated that more than half of today’s workforce (in the U.S.) is—or is expected to be—born after the 1980s. With different mindsets, perspectives, and goals, millennials could run businesses and the economy is a much different way.

static1.squarespace.comImage source: radixjournal.com

The young, ambitious, energetic, and innovative age group has already experienced (and overcome) two major financial crises in a span of just 10 years, equipping them against similar adversities in the future. Social media and IT infrastructure have boomed in an unimaginable pace as the generation was growing up. Tech-savvy business neophytes are learning corporate duties at a much faster rate than did their older mentors. Millennials grew roughly at the same time the information age peaked, providing them resources to study plenty of concepts, analyze changing economic data, and invent solutions for emerging or anticipated global financial issues.

Surprisingly, millennials are highly flexible and place high value on the concept of “work-life balance.” They are highly productive because they know how to give their hard-working brains a break. They think fast and creatively, itching to get out of the box and travel to places where they can learn new things and ways of life.

However, these positive traits are not consistent throughout the population. Not all millennials are well-informed or well-trained to tap into powerful resources and lead innovative changes. Many of them—particularly those in their 20s—are stuck with the thirst for the “youthful lifestyle” that hinders them from investing in platforms that could protect them against financial catastrophes. Nevertheless, they still have ample time and all the necessary tools to change that.

who-are-millennials-social-media-marketing-infographic-small1Image source: newmediaandmarketing.com

Steven Rindner is an executive with a strong background in business development and growth strategy across a number of industries including media, technology, real estate services, and healthcare. Follow him on Twitter to know more about his professional background.

Running Rumors: The truth Behind Running Myths

It’s often difficult to distinguish between fictitious truths and well-told rumors. This is true even for running. Below are some running myths that have been debunked by athletes and health experts:

Running is bad for your knees

Some people believe that running strains the knees and doing it constantly will cause permanent injury. The truth is, running is one of the best exercises to achieve good health. There haven’t been any studies relating joint injuries to running.

details-running-knees-2014-leadImage Source: www.details.com

Running every day helps you improve

Although there’re no studies yet correlating running with knee problems, running daily do make you prone to other injuries. As much as training is vital to improving your performance, rest days are equally essential to give time for your muscles to heal and recuperate. Another option is to alternate between other exercises and not focus solely on running.

Runners don’t need strength training

Running improves the strength of your leg muscles but doing strength exercises also help. Strength training builds endurance, which is an important factor in running.

Clipboard01Image Source: www.fitnessisfromvenus.com

Running requires a lot of carb intake

A lot of people load themselves with carbs before a race or a marathon. While there is some benefit to eating spaghetti the night before your race, some people tend to overdo it, thinking that it’ll help them run better. Muscles can only hold so much glycogen (stored energy from carbohydrates) so too much of it may just become fat.

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REPOST: Choosing the right running gear

Running is a great activity for getting your body fit and healthy. However, it is essential to buy the right running gear before you even start a run training program. Here are the lists that you need to purchase so that you don’t feel uncomfortable when you’re out and about.

IT'S FUN TO RUN If dressed comfortably
IT’S FUN TO RUN If dressed comfortably | Image Source: thehindu.com

An earlier article in this series examined the question of ‘How to choose the right running shoes?’ One might think, with that question out of the way, there’s nothing which could possibly come between you and the road. Think again! Runners live in an age today where new-age, technical terms are thrown at them every time they stop to sip some water or wipe the sweat from their brow or re-tie their shoe laces. How does one make sense of all the mumbo-jumbo surrounding running accessories these days and how much of it is really needed for an enjoyable run? Read on to find out.

Running T-shirts and shorts:

While running bare-chested in hot and humid Chennai might sound appealing, the city’s conservative nature ensures that most runners wear a top layer even when the sun is beating down mercilessly on them. The debate in running circles, however, hasn’t been so much about whether to wear a T-shirt or not, but about the material of the garment.

Dri-Fit, ClimaCool, PlayDry etc are some baffling terms thrown around. Most of these are proprietary brand names devised by manufacturers for what is essentially a simple principle of physics called ‘Wicking’, also called ‘Capillary action’ observed first by Leondardo Da Vinci in the 15th century.

Wicking is the property of a fabric which allows for moisture (sweat) to be transferred from the skin to the fabric’s outer surface thus allowing for evaporation. The net result is that the athlete’s sweat is quickly and efficiently transferred to the outer surface of the garment from where it evaporates quickly thereby leaving the fabric dry. Wicking garments are usually made by blending polyester and cotton.

In the furnace-like conditions of our city, should one wear these special garments? Most definitely, if you’re looking to run for more than an hour or distances greater than 5K on a regular basis. Otherwise, be prepared for a soggy and smelly laundry session. With increasing demand and wider availability, this running apparel can be bought without causing a dent in your wallet.

Socks:

The single, biggest function of a good pair of running socks is to ensure that your feet stay blister-free after a long training season. Friction between the sole of your foot and your running shoe can result in painful blisters. If you sweat heavily in your feet and they turn moist on every run, be prepared for blisters since moisture increases friction.

Choose running socks with wicking properties to wick away the sweat. Running socks these days also have double layers of specialised fabric to reduce friction. Again, for the sauna that Chennai is the major part of the year, your socks can’t be too thick or they’ll get very uncomfortable, very soon. At the same time, you can’t wear those nylon socks you wore while in school and expect to run your 30-km run. So, choose well and invest in a few good pairs of specialist running socks. And don’t forget to wash your socks after every single run, however short or long.

Consider knee-length compression socks only if you have diagnosed blood-circulation problems of the nature of varicose veins. While many runners claim to recover faster and perform better while wearing these socks, the jury is still out on that claim and you may as well hold on to your hard-earned money for the moment.

Of course, needless to say, if you happen to be one of those gifted barefoot runners, please ignore this section of the article.

Other assorted accessories:

The smorgasbord of running gear these days also includes specialised anti-chafing solutions. Quietly ignore and make do with good old Vaseline. But please do ensure you use Vaseline liberally in all areas where repetitive skin to skin contact happens (inner thighs, arm-pits, nipples etc) or be prepared to encounter some bloody clothes and chafed skin.

A cap and sports sun-glasses are also highly recommended and a smart choice while running in the heat. Finally, about the accompanying music and related gadgets. While this is entirely a personal choice, in the interest of road safety and also of connecting with yourself and the environment around during your run, this writer would insist that you stay away from the ear-phones. Happy running!

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How blogging can work for your small business

Image Source: instantshift.com

The development of technology has changed the way we get information. It only takes a quick screen tap to know where the nearest gas station is, or what movies are showing, or where to buy that pair of shoes you’ve always wanted. Information is now accessible and convenient, thanks to smart phones, laptops, and the Internet.

Blogging has become one of the most common marketing strategies for businesses, as it provides a platform to post relevant content for current and potential clients. However, some small businesses are hesitant to embrace this technology because of reasons such as not knowing how to start from a technical standpoint, or the time and resources it needs might be overwhelming. What they should know is the litany of advantages a business blog can bring in to help them know their customers, build their credibility, and expand their business.

First, blogs are quick, easy and inexpensive to setup, especially with all the free blogging services out there which can be incorporated in an existing website. Blogs are also search engine-friendly and easy to access if clients and prospects need to search for information regarding your business. Posting news, tips and trends in the industry regularly will build trust and demonstrate your expertise, therefore increasing your authority and establishing you as an industry expert. This will shore up brand awareness and increase traffic to your blog, and subsequently, business.

Image Source: gizmag.com

Another advantage of creating a business blog is getting to know your audience. People can connect with you and other people through comments or posting your blog’s URL on their own blogs, creating interaction between communities and building relationships. Interactions will give you insight on what your customers want to improve about the product or service you provide.

Starting a business blog is not that difficult, even for the not-so-tech savvy. Blogging is now one of the competitive platforms of business promotion that, when done correctly, increases returns while curtailing spend.

Image Source: mssocial.net

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Plyometrics: Improve strength and speed without increasing mileage

Fortunately, running more miles is no longer the only way to get faster.

Image Source:
Image Source: holabirdssports.com

Busy runners who want to get the most out of their training time should consider incorporating plyometrics exercises into their training programs. Originally developed as a training method for Olympic athletes, plyometrics is designed to improve speed and power. Plyometrics training focuses on moving rapidly from a muscle extension (eccentric phase) to muscle contraction (concentric phase) in a process called the stretch-shortening cycle. In other words, plyometrics enables muscles to exert maximal force in a short period of time.

For runners, the benefits of performing plyometrics exercises are numerous. Studies have shown that plyometrics not only improves speed, explosive strength, agility, and endurance, it also boosts running economy, or how efficiently the body uses oxygen.

Image Source:
Image Source: sportsscience.co

The following are some examples of simple plyometrics exercises to do at home:

Single leg hops: Hop up and down on one leg, landing gently on the ball of the foot
Jump squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, lower hips into the squat position, then engage the core and jump up. Land gently on the balls of the feet and roll back onto the heels while returning to the squat position.
Box jumps: Stand in front of a plyo box or an aerobic bench with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down slightly, enable the core, drive out the hips, and jump onto the box, using the arms for balance and added momentum. Jump backwards off the box to return to the original quarter-squat position.

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Image Source: dangerouslyfit.com

Those new to plyometrics should begin with a twice-a-week program consisting of simple, low-intensity plyometrics exercises like the ones above. Runners should pay attention to proper form and take proper safety precautions when performing plyometrics. While plyometrics is not inherently dangerous, as with any exercise, there is always a risk of injury when routines are not done correctly. If in doubt, or for a more comprehensive plyometrics training plan, runners should seek the advice of a running coach or trainer.

Steven Rindner is a dedicated marathoner and a business and corporate development executive. Subscribe to this blog for more articles on improving running performance.