Is your Marketing Campaign in the Cone of Uncertainty?

Living in South Florida we are often carefully watching the projected path of oncoming tropical storms or hurricanes. Technology continues to improve, and forecasted paths are becoming more and more accurate, which got me to thinking…if your marketing campaign was a hurricane, do you know where it’s headed, or is it all one huge cone of uncertainty?

Based on the hundreds if not thousands of conversations we’ve had over the years, (more often than not), marketing representatives do not know what path their campaign is on. They may know certain aspects but overall, you get an uneasy feeling as if the impending storm was whirling out of control.

This brings us back to square one: the target market. The process of digging deep within your customer records and developing a profile of your heavy user, as well as where they come from, and what product or service is in highest demand, are all crucial pieces of identifying this target.

 
Social Media, and Google analytics can also serve as great tools to help you pinpoint the target market, with all of the rich information you can access. Facebook insights break your fan base down by demographic (male/female broken down by age groups) as well as their geographic location. Our FB page shows that in the past month 57.6% of our fans are made up of males and 20.1% are 18-24 yrs. old. So while we would like to attract an older, decision making base, we have to understand that our current image appeals to a younger demo.

No matter what product or service you sell, there will be a certain segment of the market that makes up the majority of your customer base, and there may very well be a close second, third, etc. The path of your marketing hurricane should be directed at your heavy user, which will have a spillover effect on your secondary market.

If you have an advertising agency, that has not taken the time to clearly identify this target demo with you, and they are presenting marketing and advertising campaigns, why don’t you ask them what are they basing their strategy on? I’ve seen it over and over where an agency and a client get hooked on the most ‘creative’ idea regardless of how it’s going to resonate with their target market. Those campaigns are doomed to fail, and in hurricane terms – turn into a fish storm – that just whirls out to sea and nobody takes any notice of it.

If you feel your marketing campaign is languishing in a huge cone of uncertainty contact us for a Free Media Audit, so we can help you identify these issues and get you back on the right path.

Is it time to call in the SWOT team?

A SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – and this is a great time of the year to pull it out, and get your plan ready for next year.


I particularly like this graphic because it also takes a look at the back-office (if you will) and starting from Marketing/Sales all the way down to Systems, it forces you to consider the whole operation.

What I would suggest is to do this as a company, and not silo the information by department. Sometimes the marketing department feels it’s doing a perfectly good job, but people in Operations have some insights that have not been considered. By involving a representative from each department, and allowing them to make their view or suggestion part of the process, you get an internal focus group that can uncover many competitive advantages, or spot possible areas of weakness you may have missed otherwise.

This information, in the hands of a capable marketer, and partnered with a competent agency will serve as the foundation for a sound marketing strategy that identifies the target market, and a plan to reach that them will have the best chance to succeed.  A SWOT analysis is also vital for the proper formulation of a marketing budget that will be required in order to support the initiatives ultimately deemed important to the success of the campaign.  More often than not, perfectly good plans are abandoned because the planning process did not properly take all aspects into account, and the necessary budget was not allocated.

If you have never conducted a SWOT analysis or would like our assistance, we offer this service for no-charge. Feel free to call or email to schedule your SWOT analysis, or click here for more information.Ping BlogHyper Smash

You don’t need a website, there, I said it!

Well…sort of…depending on what kind of business you have…let me explain. One industry which social media and landing pages can not only replace the need for a website, but used effectively, are actually much more valuable than a website is the restaurant industry.

Let’s face it, how often do you visit a restaurant website for more than maybe info on the food, location, reservations, and reviews if available. All of this can be easily facilitated on a landing page, and the interaction on social media that multiplies the reach, will be a tremendous advantage in your marketing and advertising efforts.

An approach we like to recommend restaurant owners is a ‘tradigital’ marketing campaign that directs traffic from your traditional advertising to a vanity URL or landing page, that links to your customized Facebook business page.

A screen shot of a custom Facebook tab

Ah, but what about Google rankings and a blog you ask. Well, your landing page is for all intensive purposes a website, just a much more streamlined and effective one. So, you can make sure that this is the page that you use for Google Maps/Places, which is not reliant on a robust, content rich site.

The landing page also allows you to create a simple intake form, asking for visitors to sign up for your weekly or monthly newsletter. This newsletter, can become your ‘blog’, and offer links back to your site while featuring, photos, information on events and the ever popular ‘recipe of the week’.

All of this will be replicated on your custom Facebook tab, and links will feed back and forth from FB to your landing page. Your Facebook page can take reservations, welcome comments and reviews, create events and accepts RSVP’s, feature ‘special offers’ and create engaging contests for one your lucky diners to win an all-expense paid birthday party for 10!

When you wrap all this into an e-mail marketing campaign, you really start to see just how effective this strategy is. The names you collect on your landing page, as well as on your Facebook page will help you build a substantial list of engaged customers in a short amount of time. Sending weekly deals, and rewards for loyal diners will increase your repeat business, and show the customers your appreciation.

All this without a webmaster, or hosting fees, or expensive maintenance programs. We’ve seen this strategy deliver amazing results. In fact, we guarantee a minimum lift in the results of your marketing and advertising efforts of 35%.

So if you own or market a restaurant, and are not seeing any return from your website, find out more about how you can incorporate a tradigital strategy by clicking on this link, and then contact us to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

What would you consider the most important task you have as a marketing director or integral part of your marketing department to be? Before you answer that, I’d like you to consider the following.

I have worked at several companies where the word ‘marketing’ becomes a catch-all that usually gets lumped in with sales and advertising. The fact is that any marketing person worth their salary understands that effective marketing campaigns must be directly tied into a measure of success. Weather that measure is in increased awareness or directly tied to increasing sales, it must be monitored and there must be accountability.

The problem often comes in when the ‘marketing’ person also tries to (or is forced to) segue into the media person’s role. Media planning and media buying are two very specialized jobs that when executed at a high-level, can have many positive benefits.

I understand that most small companies don’t think they need an advertising agency to plan or buy their media. Many marketing reps meet directly with sales reps from dozens of different media companies in the market, and then make their decision based on the presentation that makes most sense.

In our 30 years of agency experience, we have never come across a media rep that has recommended another media company as the most sensible and cost-effective option to reach your target market. My point is that radio reps sell radio and newspaper reps sell newspaper and TV, etc. As a marketing professional, no matter how versed you are on the various types of media, the information you are comparing is all very skewed, making what seems like an obvious decision, one that fails miserably.

This is what we call the ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ syndrome. Making a long term marketing campaign decisions based on this biased information can be disastrous and being so close to the process can easily blind side you.  What most concerns me is that, more often than not, advertising agencies do not charge advertisers to plan and buy their media. Typically, the good agencies negotiate the best rates, and earn their fees based on a commission built into the rates. So, you can enjoy all of the benefits from an agency buy, which include better rates, better reach and frequency, and smoother execution, without having to pay a penny in additional costs or fees.

 

Typically, our clients report an average improvement in media value received of a minimum of 30% during the first year of an engagement. This value can easily make the difference between a campaign that succeeds and one that fails.

We always say, let us do our job, so that you can do yours. So back to my initial question, what is your number one job as a marketing professional? My answer is: Effectively communicating the unique selling proposition of your organization, in a way that resonates with your target market to increase engagement. That is a mission onto itself, and when done correctly, can create a tidal wave of activity that has a direct impact on the bottom line.

If you do that right, and let the media planning and media buying professional do their job right, you can rest assured your message will have the best chance to be heard by your target market and achieve the best possible results.

If you’ve never worked with an agency, or are unsure if your current media plan is the most effective way to reach your target market – please feel free to call us at 561-683-0404 ext 119 or email us at info@bdigitalagency.com so we can conduct a Free Media Audit (or visit this link: http://bdigitalagency.com/free-media-audit/. This no obligation service will get you on the right path to accountable media buying, and allow you to do what you do best.

The traffic driving value of social media

So many business owners today quickly discount social media as an ineffective medium to drive sales. They barely budge on the value of using social media to increase engagement or as a way to improve customer service, let along ring the register.

However, most business owners believe that there is value in driving traffic to their website. After all these years, many are convinced that a visitor, who frequents their site, is more likely a loyal fan of the brand or a very motivated buyer, and the chances to convert increase with each visit.

Using this mindset with social, and tracking the results, can prove just how valuable your social media network is to driving traffic to your site.

When you post a link on your Facebook page, and nobody ‘likes’ it did it have any value to your company? It is quite possible that although nobody liked the post, they actually simply clicked on the link because they were interested in learning more about it.

By adding a tracking tag to the link using a tool such as bit.ly you can instantly see just how often this occurs on each post. There have been times where I posted a new blog and have received hundreds of clicks on the link with barely a ‘like’ or new follow.  If I had not been tracking it, I may have been quickly discouraged and continued down the path of skepticism when it comes to the value of social media. The bottom line is that your Facebook Fans and Twitter followers freely chose to be a part of your network, and that is one of the most valuable commodities you have at your disposal.

This built-in focus group, may not reply the way that you want them to, by liking every post and sharing it on every network they are a part of, but they are looking for new information from you, and will engage if the message resonates with them.

It’s amazing how some things go viral, and completely change the landscape of that company’s business. There is no denying the power of a social media campaign that is embraced by the masses, and the impact it has on the recipient. Achieving that kind of success remains the result of creative posts, and consistently seeking the feedback of your network.

When you push messages that focus on you, you’re missing the target. Find out first what your audience is interested in and match your message to meet those needs. When you do that successfully, you will quickly see that your Facebook and Twitter account will become major traffic drivers to your site from your Google Analytics reports.