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September 22, 2016

Why

Why
September 20, 2016

Why ask why?

The first question I ask a new client (and sometimes existing ones) is why he or she is in business.  The answers vary of course, but ultimately each of us is in business, because we are passionate about what we do.  The question doesn't apply to just businesses; it applies to foundations, non profits, government agencies and even to volunteers at any organization.  I found this Ted Talk to be fascinating and if you have the time, there are longer versions available for viewing on youtube.

I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I have.

Clay

https://youtu.be/IPYeCltXpxw

why

Simon Sinek talks about Why during this segment of Ted Talk

This is part of the discovery process Lythos Studios employs for every project.  Our process includes Discover, Create, Implement and Measure.  The discover phase asks the questions why, what, and how.  The create phase uses the information gathered during the discover phase and determines how a project is implemented.

 

 

community garden

May 3, 2016

Community Garden Case Study

Petersburg Virginia

This is a case study of a community garden in Petersburg, Virginia which began in the spring of 2012, when Mike Jackson came to Lythos Studios for help with an idea he had for helping children learn the perils of drinking and doing drugs.  Although the final product included a community garden, in Petersburg, Virginia, it was three years before that idea came to fruition.  Mike, a former marine, had owned his own business in Pennsylvania, lost his business and turned to alcohol for solace.  After a long term of alcohol abuse, his wife Evelyn Jackson, turned to tough love to fix the problem.  Her husband was put on a restrictive order to stay away from the home and he violated that order.  So, for the next 90 days, Mike stayed in jail.

While incarcerated, Mike became a source of inspiration to many young men who had essentially ruined their lives.  He realized that he had a greater purpose in life and when released began to formulate his plans for his future.  He approached several advertising agencies about creating a speaking program to talk to young men and women about alcohol and drugs.  All turned him down unless he had a huge budget to market his ideas.

Discovery

After listening to Mike Jackson during what we call the discovery phase of a project, we realized Mike had a great idea, but he wasn't prepared to speak to groups of people.  He didn't have a name for his business; he had no marketing plan; he had no business plan.  Lythos Studios formed a team of professionals to work with Mike to begin the process of forming a business which in this case would be a non-profit.

Creation

We began the search for the name of the entity and with Mike's having deep spiritual roots, we chose the name Think Then Choose Wisely, LLC.  The next step was to teach Mike how to speak in front of people.  Although he had owned his own business in Philadelphia, he had not been in front of groups of children or adults where all attention was focused on him.  We hired May Lily Lee, former host of Virginia Currents to film Mike; edit him with constructive criticism; and present to us a prepared speech geared to teens about the dangers of drinking alcohol and doing drugs.

The website is www.thinkthenchoosewisely.org

Once he was comfortable and his speech gelled, we created a video of Mike and his wife Evelyn, titled a Love Story.  You can view this on Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXr0kExMcJI

Simultaneously, we created a website to house the video; created the mission and vision statements of the newly formed non profit; and how to make donations and schedule group sessions with Mike.

Mike formed a board of directors; hired a team of advisors such as Lythos Studios for the marketing efforts needed; an attorney for his legal needs and various advisors from other local boards.  In particular Mike formed a relationship with the Historic Petersburg Foundation, another client of Lythos Studios.

During the discovery phase of the project, we determined Mike required a larger distribution center than single boys and girls clubs.  At the suggestion of the board and his advisors, Mike decided the creation of a community garden would provide him access to a yearly overturn of children entering then exiting public schools.

 

Implementation

After all of the marketing materials were created, we began scheduling talks with boys and girls clubs around Richmond and Petersburg.  Mike also began speaking to those in the City of Richmond jails, which led to talks in the Petersburg Jail and juvenile correctional facilities.  In the spring of 2014, the realization of the community garden occurred after receiving a land lease for a few parcels of property across the street from Peabody School in Petersburg on Wellesley Street. For a year, Mike worked with the agriculture department at Virginia State University and the teachers at the Peabody School.  Interns from VSU, graduate students, and regular students from Peabody helped create, till, manage and harvest the garden.  At the end of the season, the city of Petersburg decided not to renew the lease forcing a search for another property.  Within a very short period of time, Mike was approached by HPF which donated five acres of property to Think Then Choose Wisely; a property that was adjacent to JEB Stuart School in Petersburg.  Again, VSU graduate students, professors, and JEB Stuart School teachers pitched in to create the largest community garden in the Petersburg area.

Measurement

There are many segments of this project that can be measured.  The first was scheduling speaking engagements for a speaker who had no speaking history. Within a month of producing the video which could be viewed via Youtube, Mike had numerous engagements with the Richmond area Boy's and Girl's Clubs.  The graph below shows the activity of the website from inception through April 30, 2016.

community garden

Google Analytics

The spikes in traffic begin shortly after July 2012 when Mike Jackson appeared on CBS6 Virginia This Morning.  The winter and spring of 2013 experienced web traffic due to a golf tournament advertised on WRVA 1140 AM.  Various press releases were sent and published in the Petersburg Progress Index throughout 2014 and 2015.  As the community garden grew in 2015, the amount of publicity the non profit received grew with noticeable spikes in web traffic from January through July 2015.  After the lease from the City of Petersburg was not renewed, and the new property next to Jeb Stuart school was purchased, more press releases were sent to nearly all media outlets in both the Richmond and Petersburg region.  Television coverage of the community garden occurred on NBC12 in April 2016 which notes one of the last big spikes in this graph that ends the last day of April 2016.

Summary

Not all projects are based on making a profit.  This project was funded in part through personal funding by the client and from many supporters who have helped him along the way.  There is so much bad news in the media, especially in Petersburg, but this story is uplifting, compelling, and provided my company the most remarkable project we have been challenged with to date.  We have utilized every connection, every bit of experience, hours of brain power and it has resulted in a project that has empowered an entire community.  Mike Jackson has earned the respect and gratitude of so many citizens of Petersburg, that he quite simply deserves a giant round of applause.

March 15, 2016

Measuring results

community garden

March 3, 2016

Measuring Results

Lythos Studios launched a statewide branding campaign for SyCom Technologies, one of the largest private IT Systems Integrators in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The markets targeted were Richmond, Roanoke and Norfolk.  The Google Analytics graph below shows the immediate impact of the campaign when it was launched February 15, 2016.  Web traffic increased by a factor of five.

The success of this campaign combines a mixture of successful plans.  The creative, which was produced by Yogg, was purposeful, impactful and visually pleasing.  The media buy was strategically placed to have the highest impact and combined various media including radio, print and predominantly digital.  Almost 80% of the media placement was made in digital environments around the state.

Measuring Results

Google Analytics Graph

Data Validation

Around March 1, 2016, the data was analyzed.  The mobile component of this campaign far out performed the display banner ads; thus the campaign was re-focused entirely on mobile banner ads.  Measuring results of this campaign proved fruitful.  Within the next seven days, the campaign doubled its click through rate (CTR).

In late February, 2016, Clay Hamner of Lythos Studios attended a seminar offered by the Richmond Times Dispatch, a Berkshire Hathaway Company.    One of the speakers was Nhat Pham, a member of the National Speaker Association.  Pham discussed systems Lythos Studios uses and has validated with the data gathered for SyCom Technologies.  Lythos Studios continues to use state of the art technologies and services that invest in the success of its clients.

 

According to Nhat PHam of Nhatpham.com, digital media placement in 2016 is going to reach a 35% level of all marketing budgets.

More about Nhat Pham, who presented a seminar at the Richmond Times Dispatch March 2:

Nhat Pham is a New Media Marketing Strategist and Referral Authority who simplifies social networking in a clear & entertaining way. Nhat is the co-author of Social Networking Best Practices Series of Business: Facebook, Twitter & YouTube Editions.

Nhat is a regular speaker on the topic of New Media, Social Networking, & Relationship Marketing. He helps Entrepreneurs, Sales Professionals & Business People grow & develop business using Social Networking & Online tools through Workshops, Webinars, & private coaching.

Nhat delivers keynote presentations to organizations & trains sales people, executives, entrepreneurs, and speakers how to leverage the power of technology and Social Media. Pham has given individual coaching, provided training & delivered presentations to professionals from start-up organizations to large companies such as BB&T, T-Mobile & AT&T.

 


We write humorous marketing memes.  Visit our Facebook to see some!

Want to know more about us and our successes over the past 2 years marketing non profit organizations?  We can improve your online presence and bring more customers to your business or organization.  Our latest project realized a 76% increase in tourism in a short nine month period.

 

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