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A piece of us can give you peace of mind


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Has your communications or marketing professional gone on maternity or paternity leave? Is an unexpected long-term absence threatening to throw your communication strategy off track?

A number of companies turn to Mach Media’s team of Consultants to provide temporary or long-term in-house support for their marketing and/or communications activities.

Whether it’s for three weeks, three months or three years, our Consultants have the experience and expertise to immediately take over where your colleague left off. Our prior experiences advising organizations like yours has given us much needed insights into best practices and techniques that are useful for your company.

There’s never a good reason for novice temporary support to be managing your business. While your own colleague is away, you can take comfort in knowing that professionals are executing your strategy with care and that your business continues to advance forward without skipping a beat.

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8 Guidelines for Designing Accessible Presentations


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Creating an inclusive work environment is ensuring your presentations are accessible for everyone. Follow our 8 guidelines to designing accessible presentations.

One of the most vital tools in the modern workplace is PowerPoint. However, they aren’t always accessible for everyone, which can make your materials exclusionary and can create an inequitable environment.

Mach Media has always made a sincere commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In our industry of marketing and communication, there are countless areas where these values need to be upheld.

PowerPoint Accessibility Guidelines

So, to help you foster inclusion in your workplace, we’ve put together a checklist to ensure your PowerPoints are as inclusive as possible:

  1. Create screen reader compatible custom templates.
  2. Add Alt-text and image descriptions for any charts, graphs, icons, images, pictures, shapes, or other media. Alt-text and image description are what screen readers use to describe pictures.
  3. Group layered images into single objects to create simplicity.
  4. Avoid excess animation. Your viewers may be sensitive to moving or flashing images. Strobing or rapidly moving images should be avoided, as this can make certain viewers sick or cause a seizure.
  5. Use high contrast color schemes to make your assets easier to read.
  6. Use solid backgrounds with a contrasting text color. If using a white background, use a color slightly off-white. These are more accessible for people with perceptual differences, such as dyslexia.
  7. Design slides to be accessible for people with dyslexia. Use simple fonts with adequate spacing between letters and use at least an 18-point font size. Avoid compressed fonts, fonts with uneven line weights, fancy/script/display fonts and italic or underlined fonts.
  8. Apply the “6 by 7” rule: only 6 words per line and 7 lines per slide to keep your text easily readable. Be sure to leave plenty of space above and below each line.

While this checklist can’t guarantee the inclusion of everyone, it is certainly a good start and worth the extra effort. For more checklists and DEI tips, check these out:

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The ‘market’ might sound like this grand, intangible and foreign concept, but cracking its complexity is the first step to kick off any successful initiative, project or idea.

How to Make Your Market Research Matter

As a business leader or marcomms professional, you will have most likely already come across the term “Market Research.” You are probably well aware of its importance for the success of a project, initiative or even a brand. What you might not know, however, is that you are actually conducting market research in your day-to-day when you:

Bet you didn’t know these actions are considered market research, huh? You probably do most, if not all, of the above regularly. We’ve got some tips for you to create the greatest impact with your market research, thanks to a methodology that is intuitive, easy-to-follow and insightful. Check it out:

1: Lay the Groundwork for Your Observation

Don’t fall into the rabbit hole! Before starting your market research, ask yourself four important questions: who, what, when and how. Take some time to reflect upon the answers, as they will guide your discovery process and determine the direction your research will take. Be realistic and set attainable goals for you and your team.

Make Your Market Research Matter step 1

2: Choose the Best Type of Market Research for Your Project

See yourself as a detective, and this step as your strategy to solve your mystery. Are you going to follow your own journey and conduct detailed primary research? Or are you tagging along with secondary research to dig deeper into pre-existing data? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to assess the best approach based on the resources at your disposal.

Make Your Market Research Matter Step 2

3A: How to Conduct Primary Market Research

Did you choose primary research? Great! Here, the sky is the limit when it comes to methodologies. You can conduct interviews, surveys, focus groups, observations exercises, drawing activities, blind tests, etc. Be creative and develop the approach that works best for you. Just make sure to keep some best practices in mind when conducting your research.

Make Your Market Research Matter Step 3

3B: How to Conduct Secondary Market Research

Prefer secondary research? Wonderful, who doesn’t love a good funnel? Start by looking at the big picture, collect insights from different sources, and then narrow your learnings down to your own research. You will discover many insights and some you might not use at all, but the accumulated knowledge will certainly come in handy during other steps of your project.

Make Your Market Research Matter step3b

4: Do’s And Don’ts to Optimize Your Brand Strategy

As with any kind of process, there are always certain things to do and certain things to avoid when it comes to market research. These tips will not only accelerate your research but will also put you ahead of the curve. Implementing them in addition to this step-by-step guide will take your market research wherever you want it to go by getting your project off on the right foot.

Make Your Market Research Matte_step 4

5: Enjoy the Results of Your Researched Brand Strategy

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the outcome of your research! And don’t forget, soon it will start all over again, but that’s the beauty of market research.

Make Your Market Research Matter step 5

At Mach Media, market research is one of our core competencies and a critical step to help us collect valuable insights and develop kick-ass strategies that drive our clients’ business forward. Reach out today to discover what we can do for you.

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The World Is Changing, so Should Your Buyer Personas

The tenets of Inbound Marketing require marketers to get up close and personal to their target audiences. Knowing your prospective customers’ likes, habits and challenges can inform you of how to best engage with them, where to reach them and when to share all of the valuable content you spend so much time creating.

Despite companies doing endless research to get to know their customers, the buyer personas they develop, more often than not, end up lifeless, limiting – and quite frankly – useless.

Traditional buyer personas often assign qualities and identities to fictional characters that have little to no bearing on the actual human being who is buying your product or service.

Inclusive Approach to Authentic Buyer Personas: Black man helping daughter write letter to Santa

If you’re selling bolt cutters, does it matter whether Persona Peter has a Labrador or enjoys baseball?

Still, buyer personas are important. They inform copywriters of a preferred writing style, designers of imagery that will resonate and digital marketers of effective targeting settings.

So, then what’s the solution? A necessary approach to buyer personas is to make them inclusive, rather than exclusive. Not only does this align with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion principles, it will also help you reach more potential customers. And isn’t that ultimately what you want?

Cast Aside the Clichés

In the past few years, a lot of brands have started taking a different approach to marketing. Seeing same-sex or multiracial families in ads for soup, cars or insurance is no longer as groundbreaking as it once was (thank goodness!), even if negative comments remain prevalent.

But diversity and inclusion go well beyond simply inserting images of people of color.

An increasing amount of swimwear and undergarment brands are working with models of all shapes and sizes to demonstrate that their clothes are meant for all bodies. The past few Halloweens have seen little girls dressed as Rey from Star Wars and little boys in Black Panther costumes, proud to have heroes who look like them.

An image of a bridal shop window featuring a mannequin bride in a wheelchair struck a chord with many who marveled at the fact that disability is so rarely portrayed in situations where it isn’t presented as the focal point.

Media has an enormous influence on how people perceive themselves and each other.

As Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, puts it:

“Representation matters because we all bring different perspectives to the table, and those perspectives are really informed by our experiences and our identities […]and who we are as people. They also inform how we look at the world. So, if those structures don’t incorporate our perspectives, then our perspectives don’t factor into decision-making. And if we don’t exist, then policies are developed and they ignore us to our own detriment.” 

Buyer Personas: Ditching the Traditional Template

So, back to those pesky buyer personas. It’s not enough to simply replace one of your Caucasian male personas with a Black woman. Often, companies quickly check some inclusivity boxes as an afterthought without fully understanding the context behind the image. Inclusion must be authentic, not performative or stereotypical.

Most likely, your audience is not monolithic. Yet, as marketers, we tend to create ideal customer personas that are similar to ourselves, thereby unintentionally excluding potential customers with different experiences and backgrounds. It’s like a chef who doesn’t know anyone with dietary restrictions and doesn’t consider offering vegan or gluten-free options on the menu.

Getting to the core of your customers is about empathy and authenticity.

Take Nike, for example. The brand shattered the stereotypical image of buff and predominantly Western people in the sports industry by introducing a durable, lightweight hijab, enabling Muslim women to participate in sports by removing the practical barrier of wearing a religious item of clothing. Criticism was plenty, but sales among the Muslim community soared. Instead of zeroing in on their expected audience, they addressed the challenges of an unexpected consumer experience.

Are you willing to go beyond the token “diverse” character and work toward personas who can be their own authentic selves?

Reflect Your Global Audience

Once you start having honest conversations about the challenges different groups of people face as a result of their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, abilities, etc., you can start building positive, non-stereotypical representations of diverse groups of people that keep into account their unique abilities and challenges, without limiting them to topics pertaining to their diverse identities.

If you’re planning on inviting more women to speak at your event, make sure they are invited to all panels relevant to their areas of expertise, not just the panels covering “Women in …”. Are you only inviting trans women to speak about transgender topics? Or do you take into account the full spectrum of their experience and expertise?

Why not make the inclusion of diverse characters and (multi-language) closed captions and voiceovers a standard for all videos, regardless of topic or target audience? You don’t need to wait for Pride Month to include LGBTQ+ people in your video. And while you’re at it, go ahead and add your pronouns to your email signature. Normalization is the road to inclusion.

Focus on Humanity

To truly engage with your audience, you’ll need to create content that resonates with potential customers’ everyday lives and experiences.

If you’re targeting women in their 30s and 40s who have full-time jobs on top of being caregivers of children and parents, you can’t waste their time with a 15-page white paper; you need to come up with something concise and easily digestible.

If your podcast series doesn’t come with full transcripts, you may miss neurodivergent audiences who struggle with auditory processing.

Ultimately, creating inclusive personas is about humanity. It’s about making an effort to really understand your potential customers and make them feel part of your story.

Whether you’re a multinational company wanting to enhance your internal communications with thousands of employees worldwide, or a medium-sized business wanting to expand your reach into new markets, you can’t just tick a couple of boxes and move on. Getting to know your customers deeply is a long-term, ongoing process.

When you put in the effort to make inclusion a priority, the content you create will be more engaging and valuable to the people you’re trying to reach.

Here are some tips to get started on your inclusive personas:

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