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Anita Stanley – Marketing Executive and Owner of ABS:Works

By Admin | January 23, 2008

Where are you from?

I was born and grew up in north Central West Virginia.

Where did you go to college and what did you major in?

Attended West Virginia University and received a B.S. in Journalism with a major in advertising.

What has been your career path from college to your present job?

Like many West Virginia residents in the early ‘70s, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio to find my first job. It was as a circulation manager in a trade publishing company, Ground Water Publishing Company.

I spent 30 years there, retiring as Publisher of our three journals and Vice President of Programs for the National Ground Water Association. In addition to our journals, we published a number of industry-related books each year, and held annual meetings and educational conferences for our 25,000 international members.

When I left there, I joined a local marketing firm, Workware, owned by a good friend and former co-worker. We’ve been friends for more than 30 years, and work well together.

After my life path brought me back to WV, I had to leave full-time employment with Workware, although I continue to freelance for them. I also have my own firm, ABS:Works, under which I do freelance writing, editing and community tours.

With a few notable exceptions such as Nexium, why is the color purple not used in advertising or branding?

Purple is the color of royalty. I think that in early days, its use was reserved for royalty and the tendency is not to use it as a primary color.

Also, it cannot be used for text as it is hard to read. No hard or fast rule against its use. I think it is a matter of habit and history. So, let’s use it on a campaign!!

What is the most common marketing and advertising mistake small businesses make?

Being scattered. Fewer, bigger ads run on a consistent basis in a few prime titles or locations work better than a lot of little ads run in various publications/media. Get a good plan together; plan out a full year, and then stick to it. Don’t bounce all over the place.

There are 120,000 blogs started every day. What strategy would you recommend to someone who was trying to market a new blog?

Blogs grow from member to member and site to site. Gain permission to send as many invitations to join your blog as possible.

Send links via appropriate groups. Include a link at the bottom of each email, or blog or posting without breaking any rules about permissions. Don’t annoy groups or break permission rules—ask for permission if you need it before sending along your message.

In the Internet age, what is the best bang for the buck? Print, radio, newspaper or online?

Obviously, the product determines how you market it. A banner on Amazon.com will work better for a new electronics site or shopping network.

Local car dealers still need print ads to drive people into the dealership or to view their website.

Flyers and mailers work best for local services—printing and postage have become too expensive to use a shotgun approach of mailing an expensive piece to a large number of potential customers.

Radio is another local medium, unless you are looking for long-distance truck drivers and want to buy time on a Sirrius station.

Best plans include a combination of various media outlets that are appropriate to your product and where it is in its life cycle. Work with a professional, build a plan, and then stick to it.

What has been your biggest marketing success?

We have created Human Resources materials for a number of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies that had very little or any information/plan/program to recruit and retain employees.

In today’s competitive labor market, you must sell your company to prospective employees and continue to sell your company to existing employees. We have been very successful in helping firms, both small and large, do this.

What is the top marketing “How To” book?

I like “Tipping Point” books by Malcolm Gladwell. Not specifically a marketing “how to”—more a concept. By being consistent and using an organized approach, you reach a tipping point with your product, company, blog…whatever.

What is your favorite marketing/advertising campaign of a national brand or product?

In general, I find TV ads annoying. I much prefer print, where I can read any small print and “get” the concept.

Magazine or newspaper or Internet ads also allow for target marketing: travel ads in Food and Wine or local restaurant ads in the local newspaper.

But, I do enjoy the “Travelocity” ads that are currently running on TV. I love seeing that little lawn elf go over the waterfall. It might just make me decide to use this firm the next time I book a trip.

Also like the GEICO gecko. So I guess I go more for the silly than the serious, at least on TV.

What in your opinion is the worst ad on TV currently?

I don’t like TV ads that use cartooning: where videos of real people turn into cartoon outlines. What is up with that? Either use animation or real people: don’t try to use both. And I hate, hate drug ads on TV. Talk to your doctor! Don’t let TV convince you that you “need” a new drug.

Do you think the ads on the Super Bowl are effective or over-hypered?

Because they are over-hyped, they do get watched. I’ve never read any studies of whether they really work or not.

Do people really buy more beer due to a specific ad? Personally, I love football but I don’t like the Super Bowl much. The game itself is over-hyped and usually quite a disappointment.

Where do you want to take your marketing business? What is the next phase?

As far as ABS:Works—my LLC here in Morgantown, I hope to continue to work in various freelance and local marketing capacities for years to come. I don’t see the company surviving my work time as I am the only employee.

Workware—the Columbus firm owned by my friend and for which I freelance, is doing great work and growing, and I love being involved with it. I see it continuing to grow, as we have a number of new, younger employees who are learning the ropes and doing excellent work.

The opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the person being interviewed and are not attributable to DailyInterview.com or the editors.

Copyright 2008 DailyInterview.com

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