Review of Marketing March with Melissa Pagnotta

By Maralee Sautter, IDL SIG Manager

Melissa Pagnotta is a Communications Manager and Strategist with a robust marketing background. She entered the marketing field while studying television production in college. Several years later, she found herself promoting comedians for a New York City comedy club.

Melissa’s presentation goal was to simplify the understanding of marketing. By breaking down the process into simple steps, she hoped attendees could apply marketing methods to a work project, a self-promotion project, or another promotional product.

What is marketing?

Marketing is promoting or selling a product, service, or company. You can use social media, newsletters, ads, websites, blogs, press releases, events, podcasts, and commercials. There are marketing strategies to gain followers’ trust through a call to action, such as signing up for a free newsletter. The long-term goal of marketing is to build trust, reputation, and brand loyalty.

Technical Communication vs Marketing Communication

Melissa highlighted how some skills are similar between the technical and marketing communication fields. In both:

  • You rely on “knowing the audience.”
  • You rely on getting the consumer to complete a task, such as buying or signing up for something.
  • You work with subject-matter experts (SMEs) to get information to relay to readers.
  • You educate the user about a product or service.
  • You provide organized messaging and create clear, concise deliverables.

Contrary to technical communication, marketing is about what the user wants (or thinks they need). It is based on emotion and can be entertaining. For example: “Here’s why you should get our tires…they’re the bessssst.”

Tech comm is about what the user needs to know or do. It is based on logic and instructions. For example: “Follow these instructions to successfully replace your tire.”

How to develop a marketing concept

To come up with a marketing concept, Melissa suggests the following steps:

  1. Study what is unique, different, valuable, or special about the product, event, or company. 
  2. Evaluate how the user can buy, attend, or engage. What is the most valuable message to send to the customer?
  3. Decide the critical information needed to market the product, event, or company. For example, the time and date for an event or the link to buy a product or tickets.

Once you’ve created a concept, you must decide which medium (social media, newsletter, or event) will best promote your marketing concept. Who is your target audience? In other words, who is reading, who is consuming?

  • If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic and want to promote a band, you might use social media posts to promote performances.
  • If you’re promoting research you’ve done, then a newsletter or blog would be the best conduit for promotion.

Melissa’s Tips & Tricks 

Melissa shared marketing tips and tricks that she’s accumulated through the years. These were her suggestions:

  • Learn specifics about the media platforms that interest you, such as blogs, newsletters, podcasting, or social media.
  • Access resources that provide examples of your interest, such as Social Media Today, HubSpot Marketing Blog, or Sprout Social Blog.
  • Trends are fleeting; content is king. Focus on long-term growth through good content because there are no magic tricks in trends.
  • Remember the golden rule of marketing: What’s in it for the consumer?

Though the Q&A session was not recorded, Melissa continued to provide attendees with ideas on the most effective way to use Instagram and YouTube for self-promotion. She also demystified the use of #hashtags on social media platforms. For additional information about marketing, read her Q4-2023 article, “Learn Marketing from a New STC Member.”

Thank you, Melissa Pagnotta! Your session was educational and inspiring.