Brittney Borowicz

Brittney Borowicz is an integrated marketing professional with a strong communications background specializing in journalism, public relations and social media. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Brittney has spent the past few years working with entrepreneurs and small start-ups in the Chicagoland area to enhance their marketing and social media efforts.

Prior to her current role as the marketing manager for a computer networking company, Brittney realized her affinity for all things media and marketing while working in radio and television and as a professional presenter. Later, she began working at a couple of small marketing agencies in Chicago as a Public Relations and Sales Director and Account Manager, which required her to be well-versed in coordinating specialized public and media relations strategies, creative marketing initiatives and cohesive sales process implementations.

As a strong believer in intimate consumer/brand involvement, Brittney helps her clients create content that engages and educates brand audiences while establishing each individual or company as a thought leader in their industry.

Filtering by Category: Marketing

19 Outstanding Points from Seth Godin on Art and Revolution in Marketing

 Picture from  Nathan Maxwell  

Picture from Nathan Maxwell 

I had the incredible experience of hearing Seth Godin, blogger and author of 18 books, speak at the 2015 Bronto Summit today. In his session, Seth focused on how the connection economy is replacing our scarcity-based industrial one, and what teams can do to create work that matters.

Here are some of my favorite quotes and points Seth Godin made during his presentation:

  1. We [marketers] are running out of clever ways to get peoples’ attention.

  2. We [marketers... and our bosses] always want MORE – clicks, engagement, etc.

  3. If you're in the business of building a network, you will always do better than if you're building a product.

  4. If you are a mass marketer, you better do something that the masses will like.

  5. From a consumers perspective: If you are trying to solve a problem that I don’t have, I’m not going to listen to you [the marketer].

  6. Revolutions destroy the perfect and create the impossible. We must acknowledge the world is changing and leaving it like never before.

  7. Why aren’t you taking the time to make your prospects friends and let them get to know you first?

  8. Humans are really good at connecting. We like connecting. Connection is where value is created.

  9. Doing things wrong on the Internet is not fatal. Test. See what works.

  10. You've heard don't fly too close to the sun. The only way to be remarkable is to fly ever higher.

  11. Being exceptional is a risk. But it's the only choice if you want to be truly successful.

  12. You can't be in a race to the top or the bottom. The only way to survive is to be the irreplaceable

  13. We hold back because we know our parents, teachers & bosses are always going to ask for more. In art, we aim as high as we can.

  14. What is our best work for? Change.

  15. We must throw ourselves off cliffs and grow wings on the way down. This is art.

  16. Innovation is failing until we find something that works.

  17. It is always too soon but there is a huge distinction between being ready and being prepared.

  18. There are many ways to describe success after it has happened. It is scary to try to describe success before it happens.

  19. The enemy of fear is creativity. When we become creative, is when we can create art.

One is Greater than Zero - Why You're Never Too Big to Say "No"

Working in marketing and public relations has introduced me to a lot of very different people. These clients operated different businesses, worked in different industries and had different personalities.

But upon initially being hired, all of these people had one common question: "so, how are you going to get me on *insert major news network/website here*?"

Gary Vaynerchuk recently released a video (below) addressing this very same question and then the issue that I often ran into as well: People want to be featured in these major media sources but aren’t willing to do the work to get there.

In his video, Gary makes some great points, but here are my three favorite:

  1. “Started from the Bottom Now I’m Here” - That’s actually a quote from Drake, not Gary... BUT Gary makes the point that he wasn’t just thrust onto Conan or the Today Show for no reason. Gary started by writing blog posts that only had 6 readers and by recording interviews that only had 19 viewers. Eventually, Gary gained a following and as his influence grew, so did his audiences.
  2. Depth vs. Width - Gary Vaynerchuk is a strong believer in depth vs. width. This means that he would rather go deeper with his community and the people who support him than speak to thousands of people who may or may not care about what he has to say. As with all marketing, building trust with your followers largely lies in nurturing the relationship you have with them. Often, the best way to nurture those relationships is by strongly focusing on them and their needs rather than on the people who weren’t engaging with you in the first place.
  3. Having Humility - I think this was by far my favorite point made during this video. You are never too big to say no. You may have already done the thousands of videos to less than 100 people but there is always value in doing more. You may have already made a name for yourself, but that doesn’t mean somebody won’t find new information in what you have to say.

So, even when it seems like a ten minute interview won’t be worth it or a guest post to a less-traveled blog won’t make a difference, think again. Take those opportunities to nurture the relationship you have with your supporters and use them to perfect your message to future, larger audiences.

View Gary's video below:

It baffles me to see how many people think they are bigger than they actually are. People will ask me questions like "How do I get into the New York Times?" or "How do I get a meeting with that CEO?" My reply? One is better than zero.

Marketing Challenge: Finding a Balance Between Being Present and Being Useful (Featured on SheOwnsIt.com)

As the popularity of social media continues to grow with both customers and salespeople, companies are realizing the importance of being socially present. This presence allows customers to see your company, know your company and ultimately think of your company when they need your product or service. But marketers aren’t just staying present on social media. A true integrated marketing campaign utilizes social media as well as blogs, email blasts, white papers and so on.

As companies strive for this constant presence to their audience, they seem to be forgetting one thing: being useful.

Read the rest of my featured post at She Owns It or download the PDF now.

What Matters More? Video Production Quality or its Content?

If you aren't creating video content, you are missing out. Seriously.

Online video is quickly becoming an essential way for people to get information. According to Cisco, video will account for nearly 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. Don't believe it? YouTube alone gets over one billion unique visitors per month -- more than any other channel besides Facebook -- and don't forget, there are other video distribution sites on the internet too.

Over half of all marketers are currently using video in their content marketing efforts according to various studies. Are marketers doing it well though? The answer is: not all of them.

Gary Vanyerchuk talks about video budget in his blog post, Video Content: You're Doing It Wrong. He (and I) was terrified to find out that when companies think of online video, they only consider spending five to ten percent of their overall budget on the quality of that video. You know... like the part that people watch. The rest is going to distribution.

I think this accounts for many of the shortcuts I have seen taken by brands creating video content. Either 1. they have great content -- it's valuable and interesting -- but the production of it sucks or 2. their content is terrible -- what was the point of me watching this again? -- but the video has great production qualities. [To clarify, when I talk about production quality, I am talking about the audio mixing, how the video actually looks (e.g. shaky vs. stable, unnaturally orange vs. balanced color, etc.). When I am talking about content, I mean... you know... the stuff that company is actually telling or showing you.]

So what matters more? Great content or great production quality?

To play devil's advocate, let me argue for both sides here...

Great content with crappy audio/visuals-

+ People are watching your videos for the content. They want your information and they want it now. Good content is going to keep people coming back for more.

- If the production quality is bad enough, it might drive your viewer crazy enough to close out of the video before they ever get to the awesome content. If this happens, they won't come back.

Crappy content with awesome audio/videos-

+ Viewers will have something nice to look at with easy-to-understand audio which allows for your information to get to them quicker and easier.

- If your content isn't valuable to them, what is the point of your viewer watching your videos in the first place? They probably aren't coming back to waste their time again.

It's pretty clear that as simple as the arguments were above, both play a very critical role in your video content.

Creating great videos doesn't have to be expensive. As Gary Vanyerchuk says in his post, you can pay to distribute your video to millions of people, but a sucky video is still a sucky video. Rather than taking shortcuts to get your video out first or at the cheapest cost, take the time to make sure your message is valuable to your audience and your production quality is something that a viewer isn't going to hit the [x] on.

My 5 Marketing Predictions (Plus 1 Wish) for 2015

As with every other industry on the planet, marketing is constantly growing and changing. From newspaper advertising to radio and television to digital media, the marketing industry strives to innovate and at times, just stay up-to-date with the most recent trend that is driving results.

2014 was the year of content creation. Content became the glue that held many marketing campaigns together. Intriguing content got people interested and kept them coming back. One thing that appears to be obvious is that the importance of content creation is not going anywhere in 2015. Here are five of my other marketing predictions for 2015.

  1. Content creation will become a company-wide effort. Right now, content creation is largely a task for the marketing team within a company. Why? Marketers know how to write, create visual media out of that writing and (supposedly) know what the consumers of their brand want. In 2015, companies will understand the importance of input for from all teams. Employees will be tapped for their expertise on different subjects that consumers really care about. For example, technical support staff can create content about the questions they are asked all the time about the products the company sells. This quickly and easily creates valuable content for many consumers
  2. There will be a greater value in community. Social media has been around for years now and while many companies and brands are using it to promote their products and services, they are ignoring one of their greatest assets… their fans. In 2015, companies are going to start to focus their marketing on their community. Not only will marketing become more engaging in order to interact with and build trust with that community, but companies will work harder to create brand advocates out of that community. In addition, sometimes the best content creation comes from those community members. Testimonials and stories from consumers can be repurposed into relatable and effective marketing opportunities.
  3. Content creation will move beyond the blog post. While some companies are still working on getting a blog onto their website and other companies are just trying to blog consistently, the movers and shakers of marketing will be moving beyond the stale blog post all together. Marketers will begin producing richer content and making content an experience for their consumers. An example of this will be marketers creating stories through videos, infographics, webinars, or even, yes, a blog post packed with visuals. These stories will be filled with valuable information that is designed to relate to the consumer without the hard sell of products and services.
  4. If it’s not on mobile, it’s not working. Over 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices first but conversion rates on mobile are unimpressive. This means that there is still a huge potential for marketers to better understand how mobile users behave and to utilize that information to build bigger and better mobile marketing campaigns. Mobile-first thinking will be a priority as mobile usage and mobile content consumption continues to grow.
  5. The customer is in control. With the influx of information available on the internet, businesses and consumers are spending more time researching the products and services of different companies before they buy. The buyer wants to know they are getting the best prices, the best products and the best services they can and with the internet, they have a choice of many different companies. Because of this abundance of information, the buyer is in truly in control of the buying process. Because of this, brands need to build their marketing campaigns around grabbing a consumer’s attention, gaining that consumer’s trust and then making sure that consumer comes back for that product or service time-and-time again.

In addition to my marketing predictions, I have one marketing wish for 2015:

My wish is for brands to find a balance between being present and being useful.

Brands constantly strive to be seen by their consumers. They want their consumers to see them, know them and then think of them when they need their product or service. Many brands actively stay present in their consumers’ lives through blog posts, email blasts and/or social media. The brands that are effectively marketing to their consumers though, are those who are providing useful information to their consumers such as video tutorials and how-to articles. 

Within the past year though, I have become annoyed. Many brands have become so concerned about being seen by their potential consumers, that they are no longer useful… just annoying. Everyone agrees that spammy, frequent emails are the worst, but some runner-ups include a boring blog post for the sake of having multiple blog posts per day and brand news that really isn’t news. 

Brands must start asking themselves, “will our customers and potential customers find our content to be useful?”

By all means, stay present! But find a balance between that presence and usefulness. Answer questions from your followers on social media and create new how-to videos for your products and services. I just ask that brands find that happy place between making sure their consumers and potential customers know them and the three-times-a-day-shoving-useless-content-down-your-throat emails.

Giving Thanks: My First Year as a Marketing Manager

Marketing Manager - Brittney Borowicz

Back in March, I took my first job as a marketing manager... but not just as a marketing manager... a whole marketing team. The company that had hired me had never had a marketing person before and while some of the marketing they were doing was great, other areas were inconsistent or without much direction.

Although the thought of this stressed me out greatly, the company seemed amazing and I knew it would be a huge opportunity for my career.

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, I wanted to share some of the things I have been most thankful for during my first year as a marketing manager/marketing-team-of-one.

  1. I am thankful for all of the things I have learned so far and continue to learn. The amount I have learned these past few months is endless… from a new content management system and new email program to new trade show procedures… every moment has been a new learning opportunity. In addition to marketing programs and procedures, I am in constant awe of how much there is to learn about the industries my company is involved with. These industries are growing (and changing) every single day. Learning the industries also involves learning about the businesses and consumers involved in those industries and how best to market to them. 
  2. I am thankful for my team. Although I may be the only “official” marketer in the company, I have constant support from my immediate boss and people on the sales team. They take the time to teach me the ins-and-outs of products and services that I can’t get my non-technical brain around and they are always willing to learn from me too. They show me what marketing they have done in the past and are open to new ideas and suggestions. The thing I am most thankful for about my team is that they have confidence in me to “do my thing.” They allow me to make decisions and support me in my efforts even when they don’t always completely agree. (Right now we are testing website pop-ups. Initially there was some pushback on it, but we’ve all agreed it’s something to try.)
  3. I am thankful for my failures. Although I don’t think I’ve had an “epic” failures yet as a marketing manager, I constantly feel like I am failing. Coming into this job, I knew I wouldn’t know everything right away. I knew there would be a learning curve especially since there were no official marketing plans or procedures when I took the job. Nonetheless, there are times I feel like I am not doing enough. There are other times where I feel like what I am doing is not good enough. As stressful as this is sometimes, it is more motivation for me to do more and to do better. It reminds me that I can’t and won’t be perfect but each failure, or feeling of failure, it will teach me how to do better for both my company as well as for myself.

What are you most thankful for in your company this year? Is it the things you learned, your team, or your failures? Or maybe you had a major breakthrough or made a decision that made a huge impact? I want to hear about it!

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a safe and happy holiday!

Giving Thanks - Brittney Borowicz

With the Internet, the Buyer is in Control

With the influx of information available on the internet, businesses and consumers are spending more time researching the products and services of different companies before they buy. The buyer wants to know they are getting the best prices, the best products and the best services they can and with the internet, they have a choice of many different companies. Because of this abundance of information, the buyer is in truly in control of the buying process.

So when the buyer is in control, how do you make sure they choose you?

The best two sales and marketing techniques I have found to make sure a buyer chooses your company for their end product and service needs are...

  1. Reliably publish valuable and informational content about the product and/or service you are trying to sell and
  2. Utilize your customer reviews and testimonials.

Why Content and Reviews Matter

To make it simple: People want to do business with people and companies that they like and trust.

With the internet taking out the person-to-person aspect of a sale, you must find other ways to build that trust and likability factor.

With the Internet, The Buyer is in Control - Brittney Borowicz

Content

Reliably publishing content does several things for the relationship between your company and potential consumer.

  • Content should be valuable and informational with little to no sales pitch behind it. While consumers are researching your products and services, provide them with insight to your type of product or service that they might not be able to get anywhere else. Being true and authentic with your information will help gain trust from your consumer because they know you can help them solve their problem(s).
  • Publishing content helps build credibility and thought-leadership. Consumers want to know that they are purchasing their products and services from someone who knows what they are doing and talking about. This content should clearly demonstrate your knowledge of the subject, whether it be a specific product or service or even just the industry that you are in. This, again, builds trust with a consumer.
  • Don't be afraid to have fun with your content! Buyers want to do business with people they like and will often consider purchasing a product or service from a company with a higher price because they simply like that company better than another. Appeal to your audience with your valuable information, but also make sure to engage them with questions, personal stories or even just a funny picture so that they remember you.

Reviews and Testimonials

If a buyer is not going to read your content, the least they are going to do is read your reviews. Not every business highlights their reviews and testimonials though which is not ideal for a buyer looking to potentially do business with your company.

  • Word-of-mouth is still a huge thing, even with the internet. Consumers are more likely to believe another buyer of your products and services about your business than they are to trust the marketing person who publishes your content. This makes reviews and testimonials extremely powerful when it comes to building trust with a potential buyer.
  • Bad reviews aren't so bad! Businesses are constantly afraid of a bad review and rightfully so, but they won't ruin your business. No company, product, or service is perfect. Although all perfect reviews on your website may seem... well... perfect... nobody is going to believe it. So what do you do when you get a bad review? Address it and fix the problem! When a potential consumer sees that you were responsive to a problem and took the steps you needed to make another consumer happy, they are going to trust that your loyalty and interest remains with a buyer, even after the sale has happened. This ups your company's likability factor as well.

There are many things that can be done to further make sure a buyer chooses your products or services but these two sales and marketing initiatives are a start. Give the buyer reasons to trust you, like you and ultimately choose YOU.

--

What are some other ideas to help build trust and likability in an online setting?
How does your company make sure a potential consumer chooses you?

Comment below!

This is not a personalized subject line.

The other day as I was catching up on some neglected email, I came across this...

Click to enlarge.

... and immediately deleted it. At first glance, this looked like a mass email from a lazy marketer who forgot to include a subject line. (Yes, it does have my name in the inline text, but as marketers know, different email programs will plug individual names into mass emails for you by including a specific code in that email.)

It was to my surprise when I received a follow-up email this morning with the same subject line! It was even more surprising to see that the service this person was trying to sell was for... well... email personalization?

Click to enlarge. Original email shown on bottom as a forwarded message from the sender. Follow-up email from the sender shown on top.

Now I'm just confused. Is this a lazy marketer who forgot their subject line? Or was this subject line intentional?

Maybe I just don't get the humor of the subject line, but I don't understand why someone would send an email about email personalization with the subject line, "This is not a personalized subject line."

As I mentioned above, my first instinct upon seeing this email was to delete it. Nobody wants spam, especially not from somebody who isn't going to bother with including a subject line.

So what makes this subject line so bad? (Assuming this subject line was intentional.)

  1. No sense of urgency. Without a sense of something needing to be done, recipients do not feel compelled to act, especially not immediately. In this case, it didn't even compel me to open the email.
  2. No specificity. When recipients read your subject line, they should know what your message is about and why it's relevant to them. In this case... just... what?
  3. No call-to-action. Although not every email subject line needs a call-to-action, it's sometimes helpful to inform the reader of what their next step should be. In this case, the call-to-action would have made me aware that there was some sort of action required on my part even if it was just responding to the sender.

What is the worst email subject line you've ever seen?

What is Your Elevator Pitch? The Dos and Don'ts

When I speak with clients about creating a quick sales pitch, I begin by telling them to answer these four questions:

  1. What is your company?/What do they do?
  2. Who do you do it for?
  3. Why is it valuable to them?
  4. How is your company different from other companies?

Once a person can answer these questions, they can pitch themselves or their business in any situation. However, there are a few dos and don'ts that every person looking to pitch should follow:

Dos:

  • Make your pitch sound natural and conversational while also expressing personality and passion for what you do.
  • Make it short and sweet, but memorable. Eliminate any unnecessary words or information and focus on the important stuff.
  • Make sure your listener knows why they should care.
  • If possible, research who you will be pitching to so that you know what to focus on in your speech.
  • Be prepared to wrap up sooner than you expected.
  • End your speech with a call-to-action such as asking for the person's business card or telling them to check out your website.

Don'ts:

  • Sounding rehearsed is a turn-off to listeners trying to hear about you and your business. Know what points you are going to make without having to say the exact same thing every time you give your pitch.
  • Avoid rambling, or what I like to call, "word-vomit." You must hook your listener in the first several seconds of your speech.
  • Don't forget to tell your listener how you can help solve their problem(s) and why you are the best person to do it!
  • Avoid industry jargon, slang and acronyms that your listener may not understand.
  • Don't forget to update your speech based on the audience or situation your listener may be in.

What are some dos and don'ts that you follow when giving your elevator pitch?

Better yet, what is YOUR elevator pitch? Feel free to comment with it below!

Elevator Pitch

My #1 Tip for Producing a Successful Google+ Hangouts Webinar

Webinars are a great way to connect with current and potential customers for both large and small companies. People are very visual, especially when it comes to consuming content and information from companies in both B2B and B2C relationships.

One of my favorite and cheapest ways to get companies involved in producing webinars is by using Google+ Hangouts.

Google+ Hangouts are free to use and stream live to attendees, not just on the company's Google+ page, but through the company's YouTube account well.

Some successful applications of using Google+ Hangouts that I have produced with clients in the past include "How To" webinars for a company's products and/or services, educational webinars about specific topics, Q&A sessions (for example, "Ask an Engineer!") and even sharing a workshop in real-time with those who could not attend in-person.

So what's my best tip for an effective Google+ Hangouts webinar? Engagement before, during and after the webinar.

My #1 Tip for Producing a Successful Google+ Hangouts Webinar

Before

Engagement should start at least a few days before your Hangout session is scheduled by promoting the event through a company's digital marketing channels, especially through your... you guessed it... Google+ account. These promotions can be strictly informative about the webinar but a more effective strategy is to engage the potential audience with that information. For instance, announce the topic of the Hangout on Facebook and ask your followers what they would most like to learn from the presenter. In addition, share other content that relates to the upcoming webinar to get people interested in the topic that is to be discussed.

During

During the actual Hangout, continue the engagement by addressing questions from the days before the Hangout as well as questions asked during the Hangout. The presenter can also pose their own questions or polls for the audience to answer. A more creative strategy would be creating a hashtag for the Hangout so that people can tweet information they learn or find interesting. This opens the discussion to people who are not viewing the Hangout and generates more visibility for your company and the webinar topic. At the end of the Hangout, the presenter should invite the audience to continue the conversation on their or the company’s social media accounts. 

After

Following the Hangout, a company can further audience engagement by repurposing the information from the webinar into blogs, infographics, etc. for easy sharability. Because Google+ pages can be connected with YouTube, the company can direct their followers to the recording or post it directly to their social media channels. The company can then ask how the audience has used the information they learned during the webinar or they can pose other questions about the topic that may not have been discussed during the Hangout.

The goal of a Google+ Hangout should be to keep the conversation going with fans and consumers long after a webinar is over and into the sales process.