Touring Two Rivers Marketing

The Two Rivers Marketing Office

The Two Rivers Marketing office is a converted warehouse, providing a unique flavor to their workspace.

By: Erica Sturwold

Walking into Two Rivers Marketing I couldn’t deny my level of surprise—pleasant surprise. I had a general idea of the type of clients they represent (mainly those of industrial, manufacturing nature) but was not expecting to walk into a beautifully modernized office-warehouse, full of young 20-somethings, both male, and female, all of whom are trained to represent welding, electric and industrial equipment companies.

Even more surprising? The grassroots-tactics these young professionals were utilizing to represent and reinforce their clients’ brands.

One of our presenters, Erica Turner, a public relations associate for the company, mainly manages their Bobcat and Miller Electric clients. For these clients, Turner described how she strengthened brands by targeting thought leaders in the industry; learning, and training others on how to use the client’s products (i.e. welding equipment, construction machinery). It seems Turner also  shoots video for online content, to of course, inspire the company’s DIY audiences, and creates positive content and conversation on social media daily.

Though strongly invested in creating online content, Turner did mention something more expansive and encouraging about the marketing approaches Two Rivers is implementing, , “Social media is just one strategy of many, if you’re going to use it, it need to be goal-oriented,” she said.

This belief shows that while the company is trying out new online-promotion tactics, they recognize there are still many other marketing channels worth utilizing, such as video, direct mail, earned-media, corporate partnerships, etc.

But something Turner, and our other presenters never thought they’d be fielding, is questions from their clients’ customers on how to properly use power tools; they found it’s somewhat of a necessity when it comes to properly connecting with their audiences. Although, just as all our presenters felt, you’d never imagine a 25-year-old-blonde-girl is on the receiving end of the Bobcat Facebook page.

It appears Two Rivers is keeping up with marketing research trends. They described some of their work creating competitive analyses’ and tracking online impressions for clients, which also added an appealing dynamic to the company.

Overall, I think our chapter was, as said, pleasantly surprised by this industrial-marketing company; it is obvious they are staying up-to-date in their branding techniques and I was pleased to see it wasn’t at all an office full of men, practicing conservative advertising techniques for leaders in the Ag and construction industries; definitely not, Two Rivers is too progressive and grass-roots-savvy for that.

Sculpt and de Novo Marketing Agencies Provide Career Insight

At a recent UI PRSSA meeting on September 12, 2012, the organization welcomed speakers from two companies in the Iowa City area.  The first two guest speakers of the night, Micah Kulish and Josh Krakauer, were representatives from Sculpt Social Media Marketing Agency (wearesculpt.com), based in Iowa City.

The company focuses on managing social media accounts for clients across popular platforms in an attempt to build and enhance local branding. Sculpt gave some great information to chapter members, and also advertised internships within their agency. Members interested in the opportunity were encouraged to express their desire in a tweet using the hashtag ‘#workforsculpt’.

As a final note, the speakers conveyed the importance of responding to customers who interact with businesses online – for instance, if a consumer posts about a particular business on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp, there must be a representative available to adequately address these questions and concerns.

Following Sculpt was Heather Smith Friedman, owner of de Novo Alternative Marketing Agency (thinkdenovo.com), a guerrilla marketing firm out of Cedar Rapids. Friedman touched on countless topics, beginning with job search techniques for students. Friedman explained how she almost never posts jobs online, because often times many of her respondents are either unqualified or are not genuinely interested in the opportunity.

Friedman expressed that the most appealing job applicants first thoroughly research a company, and then directly contact it, often times referring to a specific role of aspect of the company to which they believe they can contribute to.

Friedman also stressed the importance of having specific career goals as well as defining the exact expertise of one’s skills. To sum up her advice, Friedman explained to the group that they should brand themselves as possible assets to a company. In doing so, they must always be able to sufficiently fill this sentence when talking to possible future employers: “I am the                for Type of Company.” Using this formula when networking or applying for jobs will help applicants effectively tailor their approach for each company.

Since an interview usually follows a job application, Friedman also shared her best advice with the chapter for presenting themselves well in such a setting. She stated that, “It is as much of an interview for you as it is for the company.” In saying this, Friedman illustrated the importance of finding a company that suits an applicant’s desires and expectations.

Friedman also recommended always sending thank-you notes to any company that members interview with, as it leaves potential employers with a great last impression.

Students know that education is valuable, but after hearing what each of the night’s presenters had to say, one thing is clear – internships are undoubtedly the best way to enhance a student’s knowledge and experience in the field of public relations.


Mark Hollander
Mark-Hollander@uiowa.edu
UI PRSSA Newsletter Writer

The Versatility of Social Media

By Ashley Levitt
Ashley-Levitt@uiowa.edu

This photo, from marketingwithmeaning.com, depicts one subject’s eye movement as they browse the Virgin Mobile website. The process of observing these movements is called eye tracking.  In the graph, areas shown in red are places the subject looked at more frequently than areas shown in green or featuring no color at all. This information is important because it helps marketers determine what attracts consumers to certain stimuli, helping them to better sell their product.

This summer I am a research assistant at the Tippie College of Business within the University of Iowa, where I conduct eye tracking and heart rate analysis on participants’ reactions to various stimuli. The technical term for this research is neuromarketing, because it is used to analyze consumers’ latent, neurological motives. Essentially, if marketers know why consumers react in a positive or negative manner to their product, it is more beneficial than simply knowing how they react. Knowing why allows for repeat successes and avoidance of failures.

Currently there are not a lot of academic websites devoted to neuromarketing, which is why social media is such an important part of my assistantship. To establish an online presence for neuromarketing research, my supervisor, Assistant Professor William Hedgcock, has asked me to use WordPress to design his website. Ultimately, as with any user of social media, our goal is to become the go-to website in the field. This would establish our credibility while promoting the Tippie College of Business brand, which again ties back to marketing.

This assistantship has taught me that social media is not only useful, but it’s a necessary element in virtually any career. I feel fortunate to have gained so much insight this early on, because I know social media is a skill I will use for the rest of my life.

If you’re interested in finding out more about neuromarketing, or you simply want to keep track of what I’m working on, please visit www.biz.uiowa.edu/whedgcock/.