Full Contact Advertising

Social media advertising, for an advertising company

 

By Justyn Loguidice and Anthony Liberatore

When looking into social media and its outreach in this country, it is truly phenomenal what power it holds. For this project, we were given the opportunity to act as social media consultants. Through an external interview, we were able to derive valuable information from a company based on its current social media catalog. The company that we chose to look into for this project is a small advertising firm in Boston, MA by the name of Full Contact Advertising.

Full Contact specializes in creating brands to the fullest through a variety of platforms including digital, television, radio and print advertising. Of course, being an advertising agency, Full Contact has spent time in the social media aspect of business as well. Currently, Full Contact operates a fully-functional website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn, and Vimeo account. While fully operational in these facets of social media, the amount of focused attention to their social media outlets isn’t on par with many of its competitors.

We had the opportunity to speak with one of the founding partners of Full Contact, John Young.  John has the title of Chief Strategist at Full Contact, and therefore, was the perfect person to provide us some vital information in regards to their social media usage. John has been working in marketing and advertising for his entire working career, holding various creative positions and starting multiple successful marketing communication firms. His catalog of works includes worldwide brands such as Pepsi, McDonald’s, Disney, Sony and Budweiser. Overall John has been a very successful businessman and it was truly an honor for us to be given the opportunity to speak to him.

Founder & Chief Strategist - John Young

After getting the personal background of John and the company, we wanted to get a feel for how the company feels about social media and using it to self-promote your business.  John mentioned to us that, “Social Media is a valuable tool, but takes time away from our customers”. John felt that while there are tremendous benefits to establishing oneself online through social media, their time is solely focused on their cliental.  He then went into more detail on how Full Contact feels social media is effective to an extent, and is tremendously valuable when used for their clients. Internally, however, they are like “the shoemaker’s children” and have “no time to worry about themselves”.

Justyn Loguidice speaking with John Young.

John was able to provide us with some Google analytics in regards to their website activity.  Of the company’s web traffic, 51 percent comes through Google, 17 percent is self-directed, and the rest come from referrals (blogs, press, directories).  Full Contact averages around 400 unique visitors a month, 30 percent existing as return visitors.  About 30 of those customers access their website through a mobile device.  Visitors spend an average of 5 minutes on their site, reading an average of about 5 pages.

Full Contact's home page

Their Facebook page has 312 likes.  John mentioned that the agency only occasionally posts new content on Facebook and there often isn’t much sharing.  A vast majority of the likes are from employees, vendors, and clients.

Their Twitter feed has very little activity.  Currently @FullContact is following 29 individuals and has 265 followers.  John’s personal feed, which he uses mainly to connect with friends and former co-workers, has 1973 followers.

Although these are healthy numbers, John feels that they can certainly improve their social media catalog; believing that by successfully communicating themselves online they can generate more brand recognition. However, John also believes that “There will always be a human approach to what we do”. With this being said, we then began to converse with John about how they want their social media activity to evolve and what they ultimately hope to get out of it.

First we discussed what things need to be changed in terms of their current social media channels.  John stated, “We need to clean it out; some stuff has been around for a while”.  That being said, he felt that their Facebook page is probably maintained the most out of all their other channels and stated, “If you want to get a feel for Full Contact, go to Facebook”.

When it came to future plans, John was earnest in his response, saying that he constantly asks himself, “How will social media benefit our brand?” John wants to create an aura surrounding his company’s work and ultimately get the social media community to start socializing about it. This can be difficult though as they don’t have an employee whose job includes updating their internal social media channels.  The reason for this, as John stated, “it’s hard to fund…we need to see that it can generate results”.

John then went on to mention that social media itself, “doesn’t drive people in the door”, and that it’s ultimately their work that helps them to stay successful as an agency.  That being said, the agency does have interest in improving their social media handles, as John stated, “We’re doing it heavily for our clients, we need to show that we can do it for ourselves.”

To end this section of our project, we want to include something that John said to us that really struck home, and was something that in summation represented his overall thoughts when it came to social media. At a point in the interview John stated, “social media is prevalent, but the most important thing to remember is that people are the ones who will always be social”. With this statement it was clear that the company isn’t looking to use social media just to be social online; they want to utilize it to generate content that will break through the clutter and connect online users.

Upon analyzing all of these elements, we think GoFullContact.com needs to become the agency’s social media hub.  The agency’s Facebook and Vimeo accounts have links on the site, but their Twitter account has not yet been added. Twitter can be a useful tool when used correctly, so a link to their Twitter handle should be placed on their website.

The agency’s website is the first online channel that needs to be updated. As of right now a majority of their online connections start at their website, so it’s critical that all the information on the website is updated appropriately, especially the news section. Information hasn’t been added to the news section since October of 2011. The agency has a lot of exciting things going on, so they should update their news feed at least twice a month.

Beyond simply updating their news feed, Full Contact has to update their “Our Agency” page, specifically the “Our Clients” tab. The agency is working with some great clients that are not being represented as part of their client portfolio. There are also some former clients that are listed, which the company hasn’t worked with in a while. Full Contact creates great work for their clients and that work should be represented on their website. The agency should strive to gain permission from their clients, so that they can place more of their recent creative work on their website. The agency should also strive to make the work representative of all the different content that they can create. For example, the agency should add some examples of mobile creative content that they’ve generated for clients, as that’s where companies are really putting a lot of their marketing attention. When it comes to their Facebook and Twitter pages, more updates are needed.

Full Contact’s Facebook page already acts as the social media channel which gives individuals an idea of the company’s workplace culture. Due to personal experience, I know that the agency has a great workplace culture and this is something clients like to know as well. Happy employees are productive employees and Full Contact is full of happy employees, so they should try to illustrate that happiness even more on their Facebook page. This could be done in various ways, adding some new funny agency photos/videos, or sharing interesting and humorous agency/industry related news. The company’s Twitter feed is highly underutilized, as it hasn’t been updated since August.

That being said, Full Contact should not approach Twitter with the mindset that it has to be updated every day. Most advertising agencies update their Twitter multiple times throughout the course of the day, but that can just tend to generate a lot of clutter and wasted payroll. Full Contact should have the mindset of utilizing Twitter to capitalize on a really interesting piece of work that they have just created.

For example, during my time spent at the agency, the one piece of work that stood out the most was the video filmed for Safety 1st’s air protect car seat “Success Story”. This video featured a real family whose new baby girl, Ella, was involved in a terrible car accident, but was left unharmed because she was in a Safety 1st air protect car seat. This video is highly emotional and is still viewable on Safety 1st’s website. This video, even though it’s a bit outdated, is the kind of content that Full Contact needs to get the most out of, because it’s an attention grabber and something people actually want to talk about. It’s work like this that can go viral and attract new potential clients.

As the agency strives to better utilize their website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed to showcase their creative abilities and positive workplace culture, they should make sure that all video content is derived from Vimeo and continues to exist on the website for future views. The agency’s Vimeo account has about eight videos on it, but needs to be updated to show more recent content.

To organize and measure their social media efforts, Full Contact should think about using the social media analytics platform, Klout, which will ultimately help them to measure the amount of influence they have on their overall social media network.

The agency may also want to utilize HootSuite, which exists as a social media organization tool that allows brands and individuals to manage all of their social media activity in one place. This program might make it easier for Full Contact to have more consistency when it comes to updating their social media material.

If the agency does increase their social media activity, then they should keep an even closer eye on their analytics, stemming from platforms such as Google and Facebook. It’s through analytics that Full Contact will have a better idea if their social media efforts are actually paying off, because at the end of the day, they hope that the material they’re posting will generate more awareness for their brand, which translates into increased business.

Conclusion
During this process Full Contact Advertising was a pleasure to work with and as student researchers, we were able to gain a lot from the experience. The main message that we’ve taken from this project and working with Full Contact Advertising is this: social media is so effective because it gets people talking. It’s one of the best ways to start interactions between brands and individuals and can ultimately lead to generating strong and potentially profitable relationships.

Full Contact Advertising is a very successful business, full of highly talented and genuine individuals. If the agency is able to utilize social media to further self-promote themselves and get the most out of all their creative content, then it will only benefit them in the end.

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My summer of 2012

Anthony Liberatore

It seems as though all my friends, who are graduating in May, are running around like crazy to find some kind of a job in their field so they can bring home a weekly paycheck this summer.  I consider myself to be a “go-getter” and the most driven individual out of my group of friends, yet I’m currently not looking for a job.

This may sound a bit foolish, but I’ve decided to spend this summer learning and living life to the fullest.  More specifically, I will be interning at a small advertising agency (non-paid), working in retail about ten hours a weak (poorly-paid), and then just simply enjoying the rest of my time by relaxing.  I don’t necessarily consider these plans to be foolish at this stage in my life, because I feel that I will learn a lot this summer and gain a better idea of what I want to take on for a career in near future.

I’ve come to realize that the summer of 2012 will really be my last opportunity to have a “summer break”, so why not enjoy it?  My senior year at Lasell College has been crazy, as I’ve had to get done a great deal of projects completed.  My mind simply needs to rest and “de-stress”, so that I can be rejuvenated for the real working world come the end of summer.

Some of the exciting things I plan to do include a bit of traveling, seeing some of my favorite bands, going to the beach and connecting with old friends.  I feel I’ve lost touch with a lot of the people I was close with in high school, so this summer poses a great chance to reconnect.

All in all, I’m looking forward to graduating come May and having a different kind of summer than all my friends.  Everybody simply needs a break at some point and life is too short to spend all of your time working.


Graduate School in Mind

Anthony Liberatore

This past week the Lasell College Marketing & Management club had another successful event!  The event was entitled Graduate School in Mind and featured one of the college’s management professors, Professor Loredana Padurean, as a guest speaker.  The main point of the event was to inform business students about the importance of attending graduate school, and what needs to be done to get into a good one.

Professor Padurean broke up the first part of the presentation into 5 sections: Who, What, When, Where, and How.  Out of these 5 sections, the one that sparked the most interest among attendees was the last one, How.  In this particular section the professor talked about the importance of standing out from the crowd when applying for graduate school, by offering a unique life story.

Most graduate schools require students to submit an essay that describes the kind of person they are, among many other things.  Professor Padurean made it a point to tell the audience that their admissions essays should paint them as unique individuals who can offer a great deal of leadership to the university they’re applying to, as she stated, “graduate schools look for leaders”.

Professor Padurean then went into the fact that all students have a unique story; it can just be difficult for individuals to communicate it.  She suggested that when writing your story, you should strongly consider where you want to be professionally in ten years and how prior events in your life have helped to prepare you for that position.  She also made it a point to state, “when you dream, dream big”, explaining that nothing is impossible and you should shoot for the stars.

Beyond looking at the kind of person you want to be ten years from now, the professor also made it a point to tell students that they should incorporate their passions, any community service, and international experiences, into their overall unique story.  She especially stressed the importance of having international learning/working experience and that all students should take advantage of studying abroad.  She explained that top graduate schools are looking for individuals who are not only great leaders, but have international exposure as well.

Professor Padurean concluded the event with an overall summary of the topics discussed and a general statement about the importance of prior preparation for future success.  She spoke about how its never to early to plan for your future, and if you want to be successful you have to plan ahead.

When speaking to marketing & management club members and other students after the event, it seemed as though everyone was satisfied with the discussion.  Justyn Loguidice, the treasurer of the club, stated to me, “Yeah, that was pretty interesting.  I hadn’t really thought about graduate school that much, but now I see it in a different light.”

That reaction was the whole goal of the event, to get students thinking about someday seeking a graduate level education.

For more information contact Amy Alessi at Aalessi@lasell.edu.

Also, “Like” the club on Facebook: Lasell College Marketing & Management club


Another successful Lasell Day

Anthony Liberatore

For last week’s post, I talked about the the excitement surrounding Lasell College’s Lasell Day which occurred on campus last Saturday, March 24th.  I personally contributed to the day’s activities by giving a speech on behalf of the college’s marketing & management department to admitted students.  The marketing & mangement department always puts on a good presentation, but this year seemed to stand above the rest.

The presentation consisted of seven different speeches.  Four professors and three students spoke, and everyone did such a great job.  I’ve attended events like this in the past and I can honestly say that the audinece seemed more engaged in the department’s presentation than ever before.  Each professor spoke about a different aspect of the marketing and management department, while we, as students, talked about our unique individual experiences.  I personally spoke about various courses that I’ve taken, my internship experience at Full Contact Advertising, and the Lasell College Marekting & Management club.

At the conclusion of the presentation, all of us were asked quite a bit of questions by the audience, which is a good thing.  There is nothing worse than ending a presentation with no audience feedback or questions.  The chair of the department, Dr. Nancy Waldron, did a great job at answering many of the difficult questions posed by the audience.  In terms of our student presentations, we were able to connect with various parents and potential students on a whole different level.  Being able to share your experiences with other individuals who may be looking for those same experiences, is truly rewarding.

A few days after the event, Dr. Waldron forwarded a few other e-mails that she personally received, having to do with the speech I gave.  The messages on those e-mails made me feel very good, as it is nice to be acknowledged when you give a speech that you put a lot of time into.  After reading the messages I spoke with Dr. Waldron, and if everything works out, I should be able to come and speak on behalf of the department for the annual open house event here on campus.

The hope is that by this coming fall I will be happily employed in a full-time job.  This should add a whole new perspective to my presentation, as I will be able to personally tell the audience how Lasell has prepared me for a full-time job in my field.  This will help to make the department look even better and appeal more to prospective students.


Lasell Day 2012

By Anthony Liberatore

Every spring Lasell College holds Lasell Day.  This day is held for all accepted students and their parents and will be occuring Saturday, March 24th from 10:00am-1:30pm here on campus.

The day features many different events and allows potential students and their families to connect with faculty, coaches, and students.  Beyond meeting members of the Lasell community, there will also be an array of presentations occurring throughout the day.  These presentations will cover topics such as: Lasell College’s Honors program, internships, studying abroad, and the many different majors offered here on campus.  In-depth campus tours will be provided and there will also be various financial aid representatives available for questions related to tuition and other expenses.

I personally experienced Lasell day in Spring of 2008.  I really enjoyed the experience and it actually ended up being my deciding factor in choosing Lasell College.  I was able to go to a variety of presentations, but what stood out the most was the presentation held by the marketing/management department.  Not only was the presentation informative, but it gave me the chance to talk with current students and professors.

With that being said, I’m proud to say that the marketing/management department has asked me to be one of the students speaking during their 2012 Lasell Day presentation.  I will literally be in the opposite position from when I last attended Lasell Day in 2008.

It’s fulfilling to know that I’m one of the individuals that the department wants to promote and introduce to potential undergraduates.

I plan on talking about a number of different topics during my speech, but my main focus is going to be on Lasell’s philosophy of Connected Learning.  Connected Learning has to do with the school’s emphasis on combining what students are learning in the classroom, to the real world.  Lasell Day provides a great opportunity to really establish that philosophy with potential students and their parents.

My speech will consist of dialogue regarding individual and group projects that I’ve completed and exemplify what Connected Learning has meant to me over the past four years.  I will also talk about the most important application of Connected Learning, finding and working at a great internship.  I had a great internship experience last summer and would’ve never had that experience without the help of some of my professors.

I will ultimately conclude my speech by talking about my personal Connected Learning contribution to the campus, the Lasell College Marketing & Management club offered here on campus.  I founded this club along with a couple of other seniors and I’ve taken so much pride on how it has grown throughout my senior year.  The main goal of this club is to provide students with a forum for increasing their marketing and management knowledge through the use of real business world applications.  That goal falls directly in line with Lasell’s philosophy of Connected Learning, which is what Lasell Day is all about.


A local CEO stops by Lasell

By Anthony Liberatore

On Tuesday, March 6th, Chuck Murphy, the CEO of a local interactive marketing agency, Boston Interactive, stopped by the Lasell College campus.  The event took place in Yamawaki Auditorium and was hosted by the college’s Marketing and Management Department, along with the marketing & management club.  The event lasted about an hour and a half and was a great success.

Mr. Murphy gave a very interactive, yet simple, presentation about his company that covered various interesting topics.  The presentation was broken down in to four pieces: discovery, user experience, design, development.

Discovery
Discovery has to do with how Boston Interactive first engages with a potential client.  According to Mr. Murphy, “projects always start with a kick-off meeting.”  This “kick-off meeting” is conducted so that Boston Interactive knows exactly what their client wants to get from the agency.

User experience 
User experience is all about the agency trying to fully understand how a client’s consumer base acts and what they expect to see from a company’s marketing related media, whether digital or print.  At this point in time a lot of competitive research is also conducted to understand why consumers may choose a competitor’s product or service, as opposed to their client’s.

Design
Once Boston Interactive understands both their client’s needs and the needs of their consumers, they start designing.  No matter what form of campaign the company is designing, they always show their clients multiple concepts for the material.  The clients make a selection, usually providing further suggestions.

Development
Lastly, the agency’s developers bring all digital concepts to life. According to Mr. Murphy, “You could call our developers magicians.”  The agency uses another company for the production of print materials.  Once everything is produced and developed, it’s delivered to the client for their final review.  At the end of this stage the client is given all of the materials requested.   At this point, all of the digital projects, online and mobile, go live.

After Mr. Murphy talked about how his company does business, he briefly spoke about working in the marketing industry.  He described the differences between working in an in-house marketing department vs. an external agency.  The importance of internships was talked about in great detail as well.

On the way out I spoke with one of the attendees, Amy Alessi, “I thought it was great.  He spoke for almost 45 minutes and I was engaged the whole time.”


Marketing and Management Club, real world experience

Anthony Liberatore

Did you know that Lasell College has a marketing and management club?  The club has existed on campus since the beginning of the Fall ’11 semester.  The club was started by myself, Anthony Liberatore, along with Amy Alessi, Jonathan Klippert and Justyn Loguidice.  The four of us have taken the role of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, respectively.

The main goal of the club is to provide students with a forum for expanding their business knowledge through real world experience.  By connecting with local businesses the club hopes to achieve this goal.

The club itself consists of about 12 active members and so far we’ve been able to visit two local businesses.  Our first trip was to the integrated marketing and design firm, Continuum, LLC., located in West Newton, MA.  The event was well-planned as club members sat in on a presentation conducted by one of the company’s senior copywriters.  The club also got the chance to take a complete tour of the overall agency and meet with key employees from each department.

Our second trip was to the local advertising agency, Full Contact Advertising, LLC., located in South Boston, MA.  This trip was equally as successful, as group members were once again exposed to a group of business professionals who were willing to give us an inside look into how their industry works.

Full Contact Advertising  works with companies such as ZipCar, Cumberland Farms, and Stride Rite.  Throughout our visit, the club was able to to see an array of different campaigns that the agency has put together for those clients.  The work ranged from traditional print advertising, to more innovative forms of advertising.

Currently, the club is in a transition stage, as all four of the current officers will be graduating in May.  Beyond that, the club also has a new co-advisor, Professor Loredana Padurean, who recently started a Facebook page for the club and has big ideas for the future.

The next club event will be occurring on Tuesday, March 6 in Yamawaki Auditorium, as an employee from the digital marketing agency, Boston Interactive, will be talking about current marketing trends and career paths within the industry.

For more in formation feel free to contact Amy Alessi at Aalessi@lasell.edu.