Refreshing The Park Danforth brand

blog, front page, Perry & Banks on June 10th, 2014 Comments Off on Refreshing The Park Danforth brand
Perry & Banks continues to add new clients to our roster. Recently, we've dug deep into strategic branding for The Park Danforth, Portland's not-for profit Senior Living facility with roots dating back to 1881.

Our research has uncovered some fascinating insights into the mindset, wants and desires of today’s seniors. What's more, the adult children have a lot to say about the place their parent will eventually call home, too. As is true with everything the baby boomers touch, it’s a fast-changing world; but whether reaching aging Boomers or "young-at-heart" Seniors, we're greatly looking forward to tackling the challenges ahead.

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BRAND MATTERS: Standing out in a social media world

front page, inbound marketing, Perry & Banks on April 30th, 2014 Comments Off on BRAND MATTERS: Standing out in a social media world
I confess, I got my marketing training wheels in a simpler time, when there were fewer choices, less clutter and a company’s brand was king. To exaggerate a bit, in the evolution of advertising it was somewhere between when fire was discovered and when the ubiquitous Nike swoosh and “Just do it” campaign made Nike one of the most coveted brands ever.

Branding was the foundation for many aspects of a consumer business, from driving sales to enticing new customers to keeping old ones. A lot of thought, research and planning went into the process, and when you were done you had a blueprint for moving your client's business ahead for years to come. Brand development was guided by good instincts coupled with investment in top-notch creative, marketing strategy and planning. It was about making assumptions about the marketplace five years out, anticipating where the consumer was going and helping clients develop new products and services.

Today, with cable, satellite, streaming media and all the many ways to reach consumers, add social media and mobile to the mix and the marketplace becomes even more fractured and confusing. Like, Share, Tweet, recommend, pin, blog, retweet, follow, unfolllow, post…audiences have a lot of power now and the challenge to engage with them can be overwhelming. Rest assured, there is no secret recipe, no perfect cocktail as some would have you believe.

While this is a transformational time, a time for opportunity, companies should not lose sight of the basics: the key to a successful social media platform is still knowing your business and your brand. No matter what size your company is, it is important not to discount the importance of your brand and to carry it through to all areas of your daily business and your interactions with customers, from mobile and social media to the sign on your door!

Larger companies will have different needs than smaller companies, but the process is important to both.

According to the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top three benefits of social media marketing are 1) generating more business exposure (according to  89% of marketers); 2) increasing traffic (75%); and 3) providing marketplace insight (69%).

While it takes time and a dedicated effort, social media activity certainly increases your brand value if you do it right. But the "social-sphere" is also fickle, and can easily turn against you in an instant. Ready to get your feet wet? Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts for help.

Hello, COS.

content optimization system, COS, front page, hubspot, inbound marketing, inbound2013, Perry & Banks, signals, social inbox, transformation on December 12th, 2013 Comments Off on Hello, COS.
The Inbound 2013 Marketing Conference keynote address in Boston had some interesting B2B sales and marketing insights. This updated "Inbound Experience" is a set of extremely powerful, savvy and exciting ideas, right on-target for our clients who want to connect online with customers and prospects.

HubSpot's new Content Optimization System (COS) raises the bar on inbound marketing, including the all-new social inbox tool and Signals for sales . . . (more)

The new "COS" is an integrated website, blog and landing page system which understands the unique reasons behind website visits, and creates a dynamic, custom-generated experience for each visitor.

We believe this is an exciting and transformational time for branding, marketing and sales . . . a real game-changer.

We inspire to help our clients "Humanize", "Delight" and "Be Remarkable" and make the "Inbound Experience" a reality.

Perry & Banks uses the Hubspot platform (in addition to several open-source CMS frameworks) for many of our B2B clients and we say "Hello, COS."

To learn more how we can help you with your "Inbound Experience", connect with us humans at

For more in-depth information, we recommend the following:

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Help for elders who want to live at home

front page, Mercy Hospital, Perry & Banks on August 8th, 2013 Comments Off on Help for elders who want to live at home
There's nothing like creating a campaign for getting under the hood of an organization - and becoming a passionate advocate. So here's a shout-out for Mercy's VNA home health and their lifestages program. In-home care and companionship that I would want for my parents!

Political ad reviews – Just for Fun

Maine, Perry & Banks on October 19th, 2012 Comments Off on Political ad reviews – Just for Fun
My good friend Sam Surprise from Surprise Advertising asked me to join him as a commentator on the MPBN radio series " Morning Edition"  to review Maine political TV ads. I didn't realize how much fun it would be. Without the fetters of owning the strategy it has been refreshing to review the ads from the perspective of sheer effectiveness. Was the message focused?  How did the graphics help (or hurt) the messaging. And most importantly, how would Maine viewers receive the ad?  For your listening pleasure - here is the audio from our October 17th session.  On November 1st, Sam and I will host a live call-in. Now THAT should be a lot of fun! Laurie & Sam #6

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Innovation. Are you a walker or a talker?

Perry & Banks, Uncategorized on June 14th, 2012 Comments Off on Innovation. Are you a walker or a talker?
Today, I ran across a good article about leaders and innovation in Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Great companies have CEO's who actually DO innovative work and not just mouth a party line. And they actually do that innovative work for 25-30% of their overall work time. Yup. It takes work - thinking, asking questions, probing, networking, prototyping, experimenting - to create a company of innovators. Companies that deliver products and services that others believe in.

These aren't just observations, a survey of 6,000 managers (from CEO's to line managers) say you can't have a leading company without leaders who put in personal legwork.

Leaders walk the walk. If you are a leader that doesn't, then I've got some advice from Nancy Sinatra. "Boots! Start walkin'!"

PB Announces New Director of Account Services and Public Relations

front page, Perry & Banks on November 15th, 2011 Comments Off on PB Announces New Director of Account Services and Public Relations
November 10, 2011 – Portland, Maine - Perry & Banks Integrated Sales and Marketing is pleased to announce Elaine Scott has joined the company as Director of Account Services and Public Relations. Scott will help foster future prospects, manage existing clients and play a key role in branding and public relations endeavors.

Scott’s career has taken her from Madison Avenue to Maine. She has a strong background marketing national brands on a global level. While working in New York City, she received the CLIO Award, an international award recognizing innovative & creative excellence in advertising and communications, for an outstanding television commercial for a jeans company.

In 1998, Scott moved to Maine to help re-brand the Hathaway Shirt Company, America’s oldest shirtmaking business. While under Scott’s direction, Hathaway targeted a younger customer base, added a women’s line and received national recognition for their marketing program, including being named one of the “best collections of dress and sport shirts on the web.”

Most recently, Scott has worked as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development in Augusta. While there, she helped market the state for business development & job growth. Scott was part of the team that helped win Maine a $15 million Federal grant to market the boating and composites industry within the state. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce, she led a delegation of local boat builders to attend the 2007 China Boat Show in Shanghai to market Maine’s boats to a worldwide audience. Results of this work have been featured in the New York Times, Fortune magazine and by the National Economic Council as an example of what states and regions need to do to compete.

For further information, contact:
Perry & Banks Integrated Sales & Marketing
Suzanne Hodgson
207-761-5957 ext 306

iSad (a headline seen on Facebook)

front page, Perry & Banks on October 6th, 2011 Comments Off on iSad (a headline seen on Facebook)
We should all take inspiration from Steve Jobs' "insanely great" entrepreneurship, innovation and lasting contribution to our lives. I'll forever associate his spirit with this commercial:


Annie Get Your Sail On

Perry & Banks on July 20th, 2011 Comments Off on Annie Get Your Sail On
PB’s Senior Project Manager Ann Blanchard has combined two of her favorite things (outside of being here!) –- her love for her 12-year-old son and her love of sailing on the waters of Maine –- through her participation and promotion of the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival's Northeast Youth Championships, July 19-20, 2011.

The “Northeast Youth Regatta” is co-sponsored by SailMaine and the Portland Yacht Club, of which Ann and her family are members. Ann has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this year's event a success, including getting excellent coverage in the local media.

Our kudos to Ann, and to all the young sailors benefitting from this great program!

Consumer 2.0 – It’s all about the customer experience.

Consumer 2.0, front page, Perry & Banks on June 9th, 2011 Comments Off on Consumer 2.0 – It’s all about the customer experience.
Consumers today are a pretty sophisticated bunch. We’ve all learned to dodge the hard sell, weave through vague claims and parry “Trust Me” attempts. But there is one thing we all still crave – a good customer experience. Recent studies by Forrester, Gartner and other research firms confirm that keeping customers happy and loyal is all about delivering a great customer experience. Here’s what today’s consumer has to say to businesses about it.

1. “I expect you to be smarter. Faster. Better.”
The bar is set pretty high thanks to our ability to do research and comparison shop online. Consumers expect you to be smart at every turn; smart about complaints (which can turn into another sale), about customer needs (which can create new products), and innovative thinking (which can keep consumers engaged).

2. “I don’t trust you – yet.”
But the opportunity is there. Consumers want authentic experiences with people who know their product.  These days, trust in many companies has eroded and today’s consumer is wary to a fault. Honestly engaging with your customers means a lot to them, as long as you pay close attention to the next bullet.

3. “I want you to listen.”
The new consumer perspective is uncompromising. “I’m an individual and I’m smart. I know what I want…and what I don’t want.  If you want to make a sale, do a little research and tell me what you can do to help solve my problem. Be realistic – I am.”

4. “I am self-directed. "
Consumers want to do business on their own time, in their own comfort zone and with the tools they like the best.  Yet when they get stuck they want knowledgeable, courteous help at their fingertips. Use all the tools you can afford – product guides, on-line chat, and a real person who answers the phone without putting customers through “many of our options have changed – press 1” hell.

5. “I’m ready to spend money and be loyal – provided you give me the ‘best’ customer experience.”
Here are the brands that consumers rated the best  – and the worst - in the nation for customer experience, according to the Forrester Customer Experience Index 2011.

Most of the brands rated “excellent” are in the retail sector. Nine of the ten brands that earned “excellent” ratings were retailers. Bookstores Borders and Barnes & Noble took the top two spots. Behind them were department stores Kohl’s and JCPenney, warehouse stores Costco and BJ’s, discounter Target, online retailer, and Walgreens. The one nonretailer in the group was USAA’s credit card business.

“Very poor” rankings were dominated by companies in the health insurance, TV service provider, and ISP industries. The two lowest scores went to Medicaid and Anthem BlueCross Blue Shield.

Loyalty, trust, gratitude and sales can all be yours – if you simply understand the consumer’s perspective. I believe that’s what my grandfather meant when he told me to “Walk a mile in another’s shoes.” Seems to work for Zappo’s!