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Good thinking sparks action.

What is Blue Flame Thinking? It’s a different take on solving today’s marketing challenges, ours. You’ll find it infused in the articles below—the type of kindling that will keep your intellectual fires burning brightly.

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Gayle Ronan

Gayle has over 25 years of financial services marketing, research, and writing experience to craft compelling content for the digital age.

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Gayle Ronan's recent posts

4 Ways to Beta Your Way to Better

Gayle Ronan | Feb. 13, 2017

We believe considering our work as “done” is not as helpful to our clients as it is to think of it as a journey toward even better. We call it our beta way of thinking, and it’s what drives us as marketers, co-workers and as individuals to find our better. 

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Game On!

Gayle Ronan | Feb. 03, 2017

Are you ready for some football—and advertising—this Sunday? We are. Our pregame prep has already started, as we’ve been watching the commercials and teasers released so far by some of this year’s advertisers. While we’ll reserve judgment until after the big game, we are already struck by the tactics three of the brands have found to ensure they rise above the fray.

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Know Your Audience: Why Personas Are More Important Than Ever

Gayle Ronan | Jul. 01, 2016

While programmatic media buys can help pinpoint where targeted audience members are likely to be when they are looking for the solution you are selling, you first need to be able to recognize these targets. That requires knowing what their interests are and what they care about. To do this, you need to understand the emotional drivers that will lead these individuals to take action in your favor.

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Content Marketing: Where Marketing, Customers and Your Bottom Line Converge

Gayle Ronan | Jul. 01, 2016

I recently had the opportunity to attend the NewsCred #ThinkContent Summit 2016 in New York. This year’s theme, “Convergence: The New Marketing Imperative,” put content at the center of that convergence, supporting NewsCred’s assertion that it’s through content that you’ll find a reliable way of reaching and attracting attention to your brand, products and messages. We heartily agree.

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Flashpoints: Triggering Action

Gayle Ronan | Dec. 10, 2015

Going through the exercise of creating personas is not new. We all do it to gain insight into what motivates our target. But, it’s what is done afterwards that can make the real difference in how well we apply our understanding to our messaging.

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Blogging for Debt Relief

Gayle Ronan | Sep. 15, 2015

For over 60 years, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC), the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization, has had a mandate: help provide debt relief and financial empowerment to whomever seeks it. What it’s found is that more of those seeking relief these days have student debt issues. Through its website, StudentLoanHelp.org, the NFCC now offers assistance specific to student loan borrowers.

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Flashpoints: The Influence of Emotional Drivers

Gayle Ronan | Sep. 15, 2015

As humans, we like to think of ourselves as logical, rational thinkers. Yet, we really are of two minds…literally…when it comes to decision-making.

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Flashpoints: The Point of Impact for Marketers

Gayle Ronan | Aug. 27, 2015

It’s our goal as marketers: find the right message to spark the shift from inaction to action on the part of prospective customers.

What it takes is more than a clever message or a brochure chock-full of features and a list of benefits. It requires context that resonates with the emotional aspects of that decision—the emotions that hold buyers back from committing and those that propel them forward. More than a desire to fill a need or solve a problem, your prospects have to truly want what you have, and they need to want it more than what your competitors offer.

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Making New Connections

Gayle Ronan | Aug. 27, 2015

The National Foundation of Credit Counseling® (NFCC) has a simple proposition for people with debt: Get relief now.

“It’s a proposition our member agencies deliver on daily, through some 600 offices, nationally. They get real results, really fast, for consumers from all walks of life,” explains Dana Dolan, NFCC’s interim chief communications officer. But, many more consumers could benefit from this nonprofit’s brand of relief than are aware of it.

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Identify Your Target’s Flashpoint to Get Your Message Heard

Gayle Ronan | May. 06, 2015

Being able to pinpoint and understand the mindset of decision makers, what really leads to that critical moment when your target is ready to commit, can make or break a campaign. This insight enables you to channel your efforts—creative, digital, content and media placement—more effectively.

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Future Tense: Bridging the Gap Between "Now" and "When"

Gayle Ronan | Apr. 22, 2014

With public concern over retirement readiness extending beyond the Baby Boomers to include Gen Xers and even Millennials, the majority of the American workforce seems to find itself on the wrong side of the finger-pointing.

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Make It Understandable, Not Simple

Gayle Ronan | Feb. 18, 2014

How often do you hear the complaint, “It’s too simple; make the message more complex”? Close to never, right? We want our headlines concise and our content short.

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Millennials and Money: Redefining Wealth

Gayle Ronan | Dec. 18, 2013

Money With Meaning

Despite their reputation, Millennials do not appear to be maturing with the same attitudes they expressed when they were still teenagers living off their parents’ dime.

When it comes to their own money, the focus is not so much on shiny objects and the latest technology but on achieving:

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The Ultimate Defense Mechanism: Financial Advisors

Gayle Ronan | Dec. 04, 2013

Beyond Behavioral Finance

Much has been written about investors panicking in times of market volatility. In fact, behavioral finance experts pinpoint our instinctive biases as the primary cause in emotion-driven trading—the main culprits being our aversion to realizing losses and the comfort we find in staying with the herd.

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Why Seeing Leads to Believing

Gayle Ronan | Oct. 24, 2013

Beyond Behavioral Finance

Social science studies confirm what many advisors witness firsthand when they attempt to hold number-based discussions with clients. Eyes glaze over and motivation for financial planning and decision-making visibly withers. Often, behavioral biases kick in as clients instinctively seek a quick escape to a fast conclusion. Why this happens has much to do with how we process information.

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How We Really Choose

Gayle Ronan | Sep. 11, 2013

Beyond Behavioral Finance

Behavioral finance has helped identify the key cognitive shortcuts we tend to take when making decisions while armed with limited information and faced with time pressure, such as in times of volatile market conditions. The rapidity with which a decision to buy or sell needs to be made causes even professionals to resort to inherent biases when deciding. It’s these shortcuts that lead to:

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