Ninja Of All Trades: Marketing


unnamed-1Ninjas were known in medieval Japan for for more than their battle prowess, they were also well known for their diversity. They were not only trained in the standard art of swordplay, but also in jiu-jitsu, stealth training, weapons, ground training, deception, and more.
They were feared, and for good reason… A true ninja could complete a mission regardless of the situation or layout.

I’ve been thinking about how this relates to the modern workplace. Today, you have a better chance of succeeding in your career (or any career) if you excel in variety of diverse abilities. Community Managers are not only Community Manager, but also experts or practitioners in Social Media, Marketing, PR, Advertising, People Management, Customer Support, Mediation & Conflict Resolution, Event Coordinator, Quality Assurance & IT, Design, Policies and Digital Law, etc.

My background is (surprise, surprise!) in the martial arts industry, originally. I helped to run a few schools for the last decade, teaching a variety of martial arts, such as Shaolin Kempo, Kung-Fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. Within that time, I was responsible for account management, marketing, retail sales, after school programs, and (of course) teaching classes. This made me “the wearer of many hats,” so to say. I had to master several skills and become a black belt in more than just martial arts.  The key is versatility, adaptability and creativity.

Traditional Vs. Digital Age

We all know how important marketing can be to gain your audience. And times have changed! Passing out fliers door to door, lead generations, mass mailing, and cold calls are no longer the best way to reach audiences.  The digital age of marketing has really expanded from websites to social media platforms, like the ever-popular Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.  These sites take the conversation from a single landing site, to a hub of active, social users; “conversation” being the key word here.  unnamed-2Acknowledging, engaging, reaching, entertaining, helping, encouraging, protecting, informing: all important actions to marketer’s relationship to an audience, and must be completed with an air of creativity and consciousness.  Also necessary are the tracking metrics, algorithms, and analytics provided so companies can pinpoint specific markets for acquiring and sustaining users (as opposed to blindly launching a hit or miss campaign into a void with fingers crossed).

While you definitely don’t want to lose the human approach to marketing (as marketing phenom Bryan Kramer says, “it’s no longer B2B, but H2H… Human to Human“), the fact remains: the direction and strategy for marketing is supported and funded by the numbers game.  Social media activity across popular platforms, as well as website statistics tracking, are the best ways to statistically get important marketing data.

Know Your Audience: Be Aware of Federal Laws

unnamed-3Are you a company that targets a children audience? Are you up-to-date on COPPA regulations and law? Do you know about the laws protecting those who wish to unsubscribe from your automatic emails? If not, you need to be.

Digitally speaking, you have to be very careful about how you solicit information and contact users, especially in regards to Children.

COPPA (Child Online Privacy Protection Act) was created just for the protection of children and their information. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, effective April 21, 2000, applies to the online collection of personal information from children under 13. The new rules spell out what a Web site operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children’s privacy and safety online.

You can read more about COPPA on their website, or reach out to us, as we’re quite familiar with these laws and consult on them regularly.  Additionally, there are laws protecting people from cold-calls and unwanted emails and mail. You can find more information about these laws by visiting this site.

Be Creative And Adaptable

Be creative your community, clients, and customers. Something that worked well in the martial arts industry was offering free private lessons at birthday parties, or doing demonstrations at fairs and schools.  Have an educational game? Teachers are always looking for educational technology to use with class (be it a game or learning device), and they can be your biggest supporters when it comes to word-of-mouth referrals for expanding your business.  Find ways that you can expand your business in unique ways.

Marketing is only one area to help impact your company for the better. Next Ninja skill to conquer on the path to success? The fine art of team-building: identifying great qualities in a potential teammate, and building strong, dedicated, hard-working teams.

Oh!  And if you need any help with the action items I’ve mentioned, or wish to talk more about building your ninja-like social marketing presence in the digital sphere, let us know!  We’re here to help… it’s what we do.

Kelly Clendenning
Project Manager