Mayra Ruiz McPherson / Ruiz McPherson Media

Mayra Ruiz McPherson / Ruiz McPherson Media Media Psychologist, Creative Strategist & Self Publisher. Working with select clients in need of strong differentiation, content strategy & design, branding direction, visual storytelling, media planning, and more.
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Brand + media psychology for human-centered brands. For more info, visit www.ruizmcpherson.media or tweet me at www.twitter.com/mayrarmcpherson

STORYTELLING TIP πŸ’‘Sharing my #MondayMorning tweet here to REMIND anyone responsible for branding, marketing, content, vi...
03/16/2020

STORYTELLING TIP πŸ’‘
Sharing my #MondayMorning tweet here to REMIND anyone responsible for branding, marketing, content, visuals, and all storytelling on behalf of a brand to **market with compassion** during the Coronavirus health challenges unfolding in the US and the rest of the world.

Some important factors to consider as you (re)craft marketing messages during the next 2-4 (uncertain) weeks:

1) Is your message asking people to physically come into your store or encouraging physical exposure of any kind? If yes, time to rethink that wording or call to action.

2) Is your message promotional-as-usual and doesn't even mention or link to your brand's Coronavirus response or organizational position? Time to rethink that. You don't want to come across as tone-deaf or lacking compassion.

3) Does the crux of your product, service, or cause marketing/advertising require more offline than online interaction or presence? If yes, then it's time to shift messaging that better emphasizes how your brand will be VIRTUALLY rather than physically available.

Hope this helps!

Please, everyone, STAY SAFE & HEALTHY out there!!

~ Mayra

INGENIOUS ⭐️ visual storytelling example alert ⭐️ Tapping into the power of the internet for viral fame when done well (...
02/26/2020
Jif settles the great debate with a GIF peanut butter jar

INGENIOUS ⭐️ visual storytelling example alert ⭐️ Tapping into the power of the internet for viral fame when done well (and this Jif/Gif example is fun, relevant, and trendy) can bring raise significant attention and draw new interest.

In this specific example, however, consumers' growing demands for cleaner food, healthier eating options (which includes eating more organic foods vs peanut butter packed with sugar) may not yield the sales results J.M. Smucker Company (the brand's manufacturer) is hoping for.

Still, if the market conditions were more favorable, this visual storytelling effort could help expand the brand's audience, infuse humor into the brand's personality, and further differentiate the brand from its competitors.

#visualstorytelling #branding #content #creativedirection #messaging

Jif is releasing a limited-edition jar of GIF peanut butter in a collaboration meant to be as smooth as the product itself.

Is it time to reconsider, redefine or update the colors YOU are using in *your own* branding materials?#brandstrategy #b...
02/21/2020
The Science of Colors in Business Marketing and Branding

Is it time to reconsider, redefine or update the colors YOU are using in *your own* branding materials?

#brandstrategy #branddesign #branding #colortheory #colorpsychology

Ever wondered why the colors of certain companies are easy to recognize and remember, while others are not? Brand color psychology and theory have something to do with it.

Wise words for brand narrative storytellers (and also why media psychology, my field of study, is so vital!) πŸ™#branding ...
02/19/2020

Wise words for brand narrative storytellers (and also why media psychology, my field of study, is so vital!) πŸ™

#branding #contentstrategy #marketing #storytelling #brandstrategy #marketingstrategy

It was 2013 when Holly, the adorable swimming cat 🐱🌊, went viral worldwide 🌍.Now, 7 years later, when I think about this...
01/28/2020
Kitty Goes Viral - Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

It was 2013 when Holly, the adorable swimming cat 🐱🌊, went viral worldwide 🌍.

Now, 7 years later, when I think about this viral event (that took place as a result of my live-tweeting Holly's swim), I feel kind of sad.

First and foremost, Holly has since passed away so there's that #RIPHolly πŸ₯€πŸ™

Secondly, back then, I wasn't as prepared for how this visual story could be "twisted" into other not-as-positive narratives.

The original story I crafted was intended to highlight cat care benefits or unique exercise angles for cats and so on (aka content marketing on behalf of a client). But as the narrative began to go viral, the story took entirely a life of its own.

While most media outlets did stick with my pet care/health-focused story angle, some instead chose to focus on alternative narratives, including:

1) Making fun of the "fat cat"
2) Making fun of the cat's owner
3) Poking fun at news anchors who'd crack up (literally) at the image of the cat swimming while on air

The "fat cat" twist where some outlets and readers made fun of the overweight feline was just sad, especially when the point of the story was that cats could not only exercise but they could also swim.

Then some of the comments I saw, where folks were making fun of the cat's owner because she was "just as overweight" as the cat, were heartbreaking πŸ’”. Other comments were like "why the F is the owner not swimming herself" or "the audacity of the fat a** owner" and so on.

Holly's owner was a completely innocent person who lovingly cared for her cat's health and graciously allowed me to not only film her with swimming Holly but also gave permission to share the Holly story online. She did not deserve the rude comments a handful of jerks on the internet did unleash 😣

Last but hardly least, the unstitched news anchor -- Susan Bahoric from WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, Va -- completely lost it during the Holly segment. With deep regret, Ms. Bahoric's good natured but endless chuckling took the positive attention away from Holly's story and, as a result, an unexpected sub-story emerged: news anchors who totally lose it on air.

SEE:

** News Anchor Completely Loses it on GMA **
VIDEO: https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/news-bloopers-swimming-cat-makes-anchor-susan-bahorich-18649562

** Anderson Cooper's Ridiculist segment **
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/0MtFmyyGU-U

You get the idea.

As I reflect on my career's past highlights and how I move forward in 2020, I can't help but think about Holly, the feline I affectionately dubbed as the "Aquatic Kitty." This cat was nothing short of amazing. And so was her owner, who doted on Holly with so much care and sincere love.

If you're creating visual storytelling narratives and content stories to share with audiences, please be mindful that the narratives you develop can transform into unexpected sub-stories you'd never imagine or intend.

Now when I develop narratives for brands, I create alternate story possibilities in hopes of more proactively anticipating unwelcome comments or story twists.

The Holly story is the only story, thus far for me, where I had this experience ... but it's an important experience to learn from and I hope that in sharing this tale, the authenticity of Holly's story can be restored.

Thanks for reading and wishing you all wonderful visual storytelling endeavors ahead πŸ™

~ Mayra πŸ’”

The client needed assistance understanding the kinds of narratives that would work well as content for its website, blog, and social media channels.

2020 is around the corner, which made me start thinking about how long I've been in my field, and I realized I'm just a ...
12/10/2019

2020 is around the corner, which made me start thinking about how long I've been in my field, and I realized I'm just a few weeks away from reaching 25 years of marketing experience. That comes out to 9,125 days of my professional life dedicated to marketing :) Now that's a lot of marketing!

Some ?s that come to mind as I ponder it all:

--> How did my marketing journey begin?
--> What did I see and learn along the way?
--> And what's next moving forward?

If you're interested in walking down my marketing memory lane with me, you can do so here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/walk-down-marketing-memory-lane-career-reflections-25-mayra

As the New Year approaches, how will *** YOU *** be moving forward, evolving, and growing in the coming year? Tell me all about it in the comments; can't wait to learn what your professional plans as we ring in 2020!

πŸ™

~ Mayra

Endless hours pouring over academic paper after academic paper, sleepless days/nights glued to assigned readings and pil...
10/17/2019

Endless hours pouring over academic paper after academic paper, sleepless days/nights glued to assigned readings and piles of books, and thousands in student $$ loans $$ later *** whew! *** this sucker is FINALLY in the bag :) I can now take a humongooooo deep breath and prep for the doctorate in 2020.

What this MA in Media Psychology means for brands who work with me, now and in the future, is:

1) access to a profound depth of brand psychology knowledge

2) ability to best tailor multichannel strategies across mediated technologies

3) creating a truly human-centered brand experience audiences and engaged users will support and love

Wishing you all a fantastic Thursday πŸ™πŸŽπŸ’Ž
~ Mayra

Want to see a BRILLIANT example "niche-extension marketing? (my term/phrase/wording)"  πŸ‘‰ Then see the latest IHOP commer...
08/05/2019

Want to see a BRILLIANT example "niche-extension marketing? (my term/phrase/wording)" πŸ‘‰ Then see the latest IHOP commercial promoting their "Chicken & Pancakes" menu item, which plugs their brand's primary product (pancakes πŸ₯ž) with a secondary food item they are much less known for (or not known for at all) = chicken πŸ”πŸ—

Often, when a brand is known for one main thing (in this case, pancakes ... a meal usually associated with breakfast), it can be challenging to find ways to promote or market in such a way that:

(a) underscores + maintains the brand's primary niche (pancakes) WHILE ALSO ...

(b) introducing NEW angle(s), product(s), or service(s) that *** complement in a relevant + non-competing way *** with a brand's primary angle, product, or service.

In this specific example, the IHOP brand is still promoting its niche of pancakes (usually a breakfast item) with a secondary extension of chicken (usually a lunch or dinner item).

The combined result creates a message that protects the brand's current market position of pancakes/breakfast with other non-breakfast food items, in this case: chicken/non-breakfast.

The key πŸ”‘ is to holistically pair your primary niche item with a secondary item so as to NOT DILUTE your brand's market position (unless that is your intention).

It's a fine line/balance and not many can do this well.

As a side note, have any of you ever tried this chicken and pancakes dish yet?! :)

I wonder if it tastes as good as it's been marketed.

Happy Marketing Monday,
~ Mayra

PS here is the link to the actual IHOP chicken + pancake commercial in case you're interested:
https://www.ispot.tv/ad/oKjT/ihop-chicken-and-pancakes-sneak-attack

#marketing #branding #advertising #marketingtips #marketingstrategy #marketpositioning

Updating with new branding, new look & new direction#marketing #branding #advertising #marketingtips #marketingstrategy ...
07/31/2019

Updating with new branding, new look & new direction

#marketing #branding #advertising #marketingtips #marketingstrategy #marketpositioning #graphicdesign #contentmarketing #digitalstrategy #creativedirection

I rushed to take this pic of the back of a UHAUL truck from a red light yesterday because the marketing bullet points on...
07/30/2019

I rushed to take this pic of the back of a UHAUL truck from a red light yesterday because the marketing bullet points on the back of the truck are an excellent example of inward-centric content marketing.

That's the term I use for content that describes FEATURES of your product or service ** RATHER THAN ** the value or benefit such features offer a potential user.

In other words, these bullet points describe the physical aspects of UHAUL truck itself INSTEAD OF explaining or highlighting HOW those physical features will help improve the quality of someone's move.

It's a fine but important and distinct content marketing line that not everyone gets or understands. So often businesses spend much of their content marketing and content authoring time describing their products, services, and features. And this is important information, no doubt. But it's often plastered everywhere WITHOUT (additionally) highlighting the real benefit or value to the potential user.

EXAMPLE:

"17,000 Locations" --> this is much more about the brand wanting you to know it has thousands of locations across the USA. The read-between-the-lines, implied value -- however -- is that the brand is easily accessible and highly convenient for a potential residential mover physically relocating anywhere across the continental USA. Unfortunately, the UHAUL trucks/brand do NOT SAY THAT DIRECTLY; they say it indirectly, hint or imply it.

Hence my point: even though this brand obviously means well or has good intentions to appear helpful etc, its content is far more focused on describing itself and positioning that that inward-centrism as "Built-In Value" (as the truck pic literally displays).

The content marketing of today should DIRECTLY emphasize and highlight the value to the user, visitor, shopper, customer, or prospect.

Instead, much of today's content does just the opposite: the focus is on the minutiae details of a product or service :(

Hope this was a helpful example of inward-centric content marketing. How are you shifting your content to cater more to a user's needs, wants, and benefit rather than your brand's own?

~ Mayra

So ... UX writing. It's a real thing ✊.It's also CRITICAL to any user/customer experience (UX/CX). And no, it's not just...
07/25/2019
5 Ways to Unleash Your Inner UX Writer - Microsoft Design - Medium

So ... UX writing. It's a real thing ✊.

It's also CRITICAL to any user/customer experience (UX/CX).

And no, it's not just about content. It's about orientation, ease of use, context, utility, and more.

An important and educational read by UX writing manager for Microsoft Edge and Office, Jody Allard.

#UX #UXwriting #UXdesign #CX #UI

These tips will have you writing effective user flows and software messages in no time

What is "marketing" today anyway? This article underscores a clear shift --> marketing is more about creating and nurtur...
07/22/2019
Why more brands are ditching the CMO position

What is "marketing" today anyway?

This article underscores a clear shift --> marketing is more about creating and nurturing **accountable** experiences, touchpoints, and interactions (with more accountability being the operative key).

The term "marketing," despite its best intentions over its many years as a business practice, today seems dated and vague. As this article says best, "It’s almost as if the word β€œmarketing” itself needs a marketing campaign because it no longer encompasses all that goes into building brands and growing revenue. "

An interesting read 🍿

What do you think?

A deep dive into why companies are ridding themselves of the long-respected chief marketing role.

happy #WorldEmojiDay2019πŸ™βœŠπŸŒ πŸ’ŽπŸŒΈπŸ’™πŸ‘βœ…πŸ˜Š
07/17/2019

happy #WorldEmojiDay2019
πŸ™βœŠπŸŒ πŸ’ŽπŸŒΈπŸ’™πŸ‘βœ…πŸ˜Š

Are you communicating your content and brand ideas as simply and as visually as these fun coffee beverage doodles?If you...
07/17/2019

Are you communicating your content and brand ideas as simply and as visually as these fun coffee beverage doodles?

If your brand messaging is instead cluttered and not as visual, then here's a visual storytelling πŸ’‘ tip:

πŸ‘‰ Think about the top 3 points you want your message to convey, then sift out each of those 3 key points, pairing each one to a simple doodle, icon, photo or other visual that underscores its context and importance.

Wishing you all amazing visual marketing and content design mojo today!

~ Mayra

Photo credit: Ruiz McPherson Media

#contentmarketing #visualstorytelling #branding #contentstrategy #contentdesign

For me, creating an identity often starts simply (after all the market research, etc.) with doodling some initial, rough...
07/16/2019

For me, creating an identity often starts simply (after all the market research, etc.) with doodling some initial, rough ideas for custom typography, icons, and layout concepts using good old fashioned paper and pen.

These identity sketches are for an upcoming, personal project but my doodling-concept process is the same for client brand projects:

πŸ‘‰ I sketch out a bunch of ideas and, as I do so, the identity mark for the brand, product or service starts to take form.

πŸ‘‰ Eventually, client approved sketches then move to digital production, which involves recreating the artwork as vector or raster files in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

πŸ‘‰ These digital files, in turn, become part of a client's brand asset library.

That's the short version :) explanation but no matter the creative journey, it almost always -- for me -- starts with pen and paper doodling.

If you need tailored creative direction and aesthetic support for your visual storytelling, media campaigns, content design projects and brand initiatives, you know how to find me :)

~ Happy Tuesday

Happy summer, everyone! It's been really quiet for me here for some time but I've been a bit more active on other social...
07/15/2019
What are most important marketing concepts?

Happy summer, everyone! It's been really quiet for me here for some time but I've been a bit more active on other social platforms like Quora (see my response to recent, and important, marketing concept question posed), Twitter, etc.

As I conclude 1 of my 2 grad school programs (graduated with MA in Media Psychology this June), I feel like I'm starting to slowly & finally get 50% back of my life back :) so I'm looking forward to posting here on my page a bit more over the coming weeks. My easing back into Facebook is gently in progress ...

Meantime, I'm interested in learning from YOU what's been going on in your marketing and content design worlds. I know I've been out of the loop here so I'm excited to learn from your brands or businesses what projects are underway, what blog posts you're writing, what creative branding you're developing and so on.

Please share any interesting links or updates or just say hi in the comments.

Have a great Monday! πŸ™
~ Mayra

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, MA, MFA's answer: Of the 21 really strong, insightful, and real-world marketing answers shared on this thread, only Fabrizio Coltellaro’s answer touched on the human motivational factors. At the end of the day, a target market (dated terminology IMO but I digress) is compri.....

VISUAL STORYTELLING + BRAND EXTENSION USING ILLUSTRATION - I found these sponsored pins on Pinterest and had to screensh...
02/04/2019

VISUAL STORYTELLING + BRAND EXTENSION USING ILLUSTRATION - I found these sponsored pins on Pinterest and had to screenshot them because they are a great example of how to use the combination of (a) illustration and (b) defined brand styles to E-X-T-E-N-D a brand message! IN THIS CASE, highlighting OTHER additional aspects of the dish soap's utility.

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Media Psychology: Why it matters.

Every time you check your text messages, update your social status, use email, or publish a post on your blog, you are using a form of computer mediated communication (CMC).

According to webopedia, Computer-mediated communication (CMC) refers to human communication via computers and includes many different forms of synchronous, asynchronous or real-time interaction that humans have with each other using computers as tools to exchange text, images, audio and video.

I won’t bore you with countless statistics on how often we are checking our phones and our social media in a given day; but just think about your own day and, as you can surely guess, it probably feels like a lot.

And you’d probably be right.

And you wouldn’t be alone, because today, humans and technology are highly intertwined.

Everywhere you look, turn, or go, technology and humans are endlessly intersecting in some way, shape, or form.

This intersection where human beings and technology come together is where media psychology is born. Media psychology seeks to understand HOW we are being influenced and impacted by mediated technology communications.

While this emerging field is not new (media psychology has been a formally recognized discipline for at least 20-some years now), compared to other traditional fields such as accounting or medicine, media psychology is a fairly novel practice. Yet its practice in today’s saturated world of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, mobile technologies, social networks, and more, is vital as humans and technology continue their convergence.

Media psychology isn’t limited to societal impacts; brands too incorporate media psychology practices as they seek new ways to share ideas, promote causes, and influence behavior with audiences.

My consulting and coaching practice, which was born from marketing and design origins in 2005, has now shifted toward this new and exciting direction.

I’m deeply passionate about the breadth and value media psychology can bring to the table and actively seek out opportunities where I can help organizations and brands adopt media psychology practices into their narratives, visual strategies, and cause outreach.

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