PepperMill

Tim’s Takin’ Mini-Adventures

It’s all about the people. As they say, “Happy Employees Make Happy Clients.” I would expound on that to include, “Happy, Proud, Passionate, Engaging and Giving Employees Make The Happiest Clients.”

While in Mexico recently, I went on a trip advertised as a Coffee Plantation Tour. It was all that and more—usually, the best guides give the best excursions. This tour is no exception: Juan Carlos is a master guide, and very proud of his country. That was apparent within five minutes of him picking up our group from the hotel.

The hotel is on the coast and the coffee is grown in the mountains, so we all knew it would be a long ride. But Juan Carlos made the trip a set of mini-adventures. He gave a horticultural explanation of all the trees we went past. Some of the trees were imported by the Spaniards, who were also prominent in his stories.

I’ve often wondered how a “conquered” people think about that time in their history. While Mexico eventually gained its independence from Spain back in 1821, it is still a sad time in their history. I wondered, what would the culture have been like without their oppression? But as Juan Carlos countered, where would they be without the modernization brought from Europe?

We stopped at a church that played a prominent part in Juan Carlos’ family life. It happened to be in the town square, and right across the way was the government office. There were people all along the side of the building, waiting to get a permit, license or other municipal endeavor. Juan Carlos said that people sometimes wait four or even six hours. Compassion was evident in his voice as he spoke of the virtue of patience.

Next stop was a weaving company that sheared its own sheep, dyed its own wool and used a 200-year-old loom to make amazing patterns on their rugs. These were proud craftsmen and craftswomen, but you’d be surprised how simple their workplace is compared to those here in the U.S. Yet, when you see the product, it could hang in any high-end furniture store or art gallery. It was that good. Did you know that the red pigment used in their dyes come from the burrs on a cactus?

When we finally got to the coffee plantation we learned that it has been run by a family for three generations. It turns out that Juan Carlos actually worked at a coffee plantation when he was 19 years old. He transitioned from historian to horticulturist when describing the science and care of nurturing the finest coffee plants. He described the process with such passion that you could feel the respect he had for the land and for Mother Nature’s abundance.

Later, we had the chance to sample some of the different roasts. Juan Carlos said there’s a commitment to doing this type of labor. But like most things, if you truly enjoy the work and the gratification it brings, you find joy in the art and skill of the trade. His stories made the coffee taste even better. We even noticed, on the way down the mountain, an elderly couple literally straining with all their might, with all four hands on a sack of coffee, hoisting it onto the back of a mule—and that mule had seen some miles. It’s as if Juan Carlos staged it—like out of a National Geographic documentary!

As we concluded the trip, Juan Carlos shared with us a few words that I’ll never forget. He basically said that he hoped we had a newfound understanding of his country and culture. That was a given. The best part? With his accent, “culture” comes out “coolture.” How appropriate.

At Pepper Group we are very proud of the relationships we have with our clients. It’s because of our mutual passion for great marketing, both as creators and as beneficiaries that see their businesses grow. We strive to have engaging relationships that complement each other, like Siskel & Ebert, Lewis & Clark, and Toews & Kane.

Coincidentally (not really), that’s the title of our new book that highlights the very best way to manage a client and agency relationship. If you’d like a copy, just email me! If you know a great company looking to have a passionate marketing partner, please pass this article’s link along to them. Please send me their contact info so I can forward a copy of the book to them, too!

¡Gracias, amigos!

Tim Padgett
tim@peppergroup.com

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
—G. K. Chesterton

The most beautiful adventures are not those we go to seek.
—Robert Louis Stevenson

Client Spotlight: Same Day Tees

For fast turnaround and high-quality custom-printed apparel, plus exceptional customer service, you can’t beat Same Day Tees.

Sure, their products fit well … and when they needed help promoting their move to a new location in Frankfort, IL they wanted a partner that was a perfect fit, too. So, they called Pepper Group.

Same Day Tees recently introduced a new character called “Speedy T” and had even created an animated clip. We repurposed this content into a new campaign—leveraging email and social media advertising—with a changing, monthly promotion.

The dancing Speedy takes advantage of what we call the Novelty Multiplier™. It’s the way something different, interesting or creative will catch your attention and stand out from the noise. And a dancing T-shirt might just make you smile.

Check out the promotion here, and if you need screen-printed or embroidered t-shirts, hats, jackets or other apparel, check out Same Day Tees!

George Couris
george@peppergroup.com

How to Boost Engagement by 3X with LinkedIn’s Brand New Features

As you scroll through your LinkedIn feed, you’ve no doubt noticed that some user posts contain auto-play videos. These, however, have not been available in sponsored posts—until now.

LinkedIn is finally introducing auto-playing video ads. It’s a move to make LinkedIn more effective at delivering the right content to the right professionals.

Through their testing, LinkedIn has confirmed that video sponsored posts deliver a 3X level of engagement when compared to traditional sponsored posts. But of course, as with most new features in search and social media platforms, the effectiveness will decline over time. More and more companies will jump on the bandwagon eventually diluting the novelty of the new feature. So, it’s not a good idea to wait.

This new capability, combined with LinkedIn’s ability to support account and contact targeting, provides a compelling reason to pilot some campaigns.

And one more thing—the new changes will also allow you to place video content on your LinkedIn company page. This can be a great way to reach potential recruits and demonstrate your company culture and environment through a compelling video.

Are you interested in elevating the results you’re getting from LinkedIn? Pepper Group can help you with all facets—from producing valuable video content, to executing creative campaigns, to measuring the results.

Let’s talk.

George Couris
george@peppergroup.com

Top 5 Digital Ads From the Creative Suite

SnapChat meets DIYers

The fifth and final digital ad in a series of five utilizes Snapchat and its quick, fun format. Lowe’s is a traditional do-it-yourself store, selling everything you need to make a house, condo or apartment a home. Lowe’s wants to capitalize on a new generation of do-it-yourselfers who often turn to YouTube for how-to videos. With those videos in mind and using the wildly popular social platform, Lowe’s creatively shows online DIYers where to get their supplies for their next project. Check out the fun interactive Snapchat advertisement.

Joe Whittington
joseph@peppergroup.com

YouTubin’: A Wider Circle

Have you ever wondered how coincidences bring about lifelong friendships?

This great new TED Talk from organizational psychologist Tanya Menon explores how detrimental it can be for us to be creatures of habit and stick within our social comfort zones. The most vibrant connections for opening up new possibilities in our lives tend to come from new connections instead of our family and long-time friends.

The next time you walk into a room full of people, Tanya suggests that you deliberately say hello to the person you would normally feel the least connected to. She points out that most jobs and other life-changing opportunities come about because of connections to people we seemingly have little in common with. After watching this talk, I’m willing to give it a try!

Got some YouTube videos of your own you’d like to share? Just send them my way!

Todd Underwood
todd@peppergroup.com