Why a digital-only approach is flawed for startups and new products

Just as a rocket requires most of its fuel in the initial launch phase, starting a new company or launching a new product successfully requires a great deal of support and energy in the initial stage, and less as time goes on.

It’s for this very reason that launching with a digital-only or digital-first approach is flawed and counter-productive. Notice that I did not say it’s wrong — it’s just not the best strategy, since digital remains much less effective in branding and engagement, and performs much better as the second step in the process, rather than the first step. Click here to continue

3 examples of highly effective ‘tradigital’ advertising campaigns

As an advertiser, you need to understand that on average between 2 percent and 5 percent of the people who receive your advertising message are actually in the market for your product or service at any one-time.

For industries like restaurants, that number has the potential to be much higher (since we all eat every day), but we don’t eat out every day and the competition can be extremely fierce.

The beauty of a “tradigital” campaign — which combines traditional and digital marketing — is that when the offer is presented properly, it does not alienate the other 95 percent of the people in the market, who may not be ready to buy from you right now. Click here to continue –

My 5 favorite apps for business (plus one for fun): John Garcia

Here are John Garcia’s favorite smartphone apps. Garcia is managing partner and digital director or Baldrica Advertising and Marketing, an agency in West Palm Beach, Fla.

My smartphone: Apple iPhone 5

My five favorite apps – CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE

How to create a ‘Tradigital’ advertising campaign

We use the word ‘tradigital’ in our office on a daily basis. As the name suggests, it’s the merging of traditional and digital in advertising and marketing campaigns. While most companies understand the need for both, they are often executing on each ‘side’ of the equation independently, rather than creating campaigns that integrate both sides for maximum results.

Before I explain how you do that, let’s discuss the process of a tradigital approach. At Baldrica Advertising and Marketing, all our campaigns require the same starting point: what’s your demo, and what’s your budget? Determining your ‘heavy user’ is the key in establishing who you are trying to reach. Just as important is a budget that will establish parameters to work with, and allow us to create realistic goals and measureable results that the campaign is expected to achieve.  These goals should be very specific and the outcome should be clearly spelled out. What are you trying to achieve with this campaign and what deems it successful? What does a conversion look like? What do you ultimately want your audience to do, after they see or hear your message? This information helps to mold the creative, and insures the message resonates loudest with its constituents.

Once these factors have been determined and the creative developed, we can create a plan based on the budget that has been allocated to it. This is where you see the tradigital in action. The push or ‘outbound’ side of the equation is the traditional media, such as TV, Radio, Billboards, print, etc. The value of pushing your message on an audience remains just as powerful today as ever, the key is to carefully integrate it with a digital destination because in a carefully crafted campaign, traditional media will drive a significant amount of traffic to your website.

Simply printing your web address, or mentioning your website in the ad is not digital integration, but that’s what we most often see (for examples of true digital integration, please visit our website or call us for a free consultation). Remember the majority of people prefer to go online for more information, so the easier you make that process the better results you will achieve.

With a digital destination in place, (as the primary source of response to your ad) you can now carry that momentum over with your digital assets, or your ‘inbound’ marketing. Point all of your digital media, including social, email, blogs, videos, etc. to your website or landing page, reinforcing the message you are pushing. The difference is that your engaged audience doesn’t need to be ‘sold’ as much is it is looking to be ‘educated’  – especially on the benefits and value of your product or service.

Whenever possible we look to complete the campaign with ‘Grass Roots’ marketing; that tried and true oil that keeps the wheel from squeaking. It’s a lot of hard work, but it often works well with your social media efforts and includes things like Public Relations, Networking, Trade Shows and other cross promotions (such as other businesses you can partner up with).  This strategy can be applied to just about any business, from a service provider to your local pizza place that prints coupons to draw visitors.  By pointing everyone to respond digitally first or add value to your offer on your website or landing page, you’ll have a much higher likely hood of capturing emails, adding to your social network or collecting other information that will make all of your future and follow-up efforts that much more effective.

To learn how a tradigital approach can be customized to work best for your company – visit us at bdigitalagency.com or contact me directly jgarcia@bdigitalagency.com

The coupon phenomenon – from coupon to loyal customer

How often have you used a coupon to get a deal from a business, and then continue to go back, without a coupon?

It’s ironic, but clearly if I stumble across a restaurant or retailer, and go in and make a purchase without a coupon, I’m often much more willing to go back, as long as I had a good experience. If however, the first time I interacted with that business was because of the offer on a coupon I redeemed, I’m less likely to go back without a coupon.

I don’t think there is any official research on this, but I’m open to responses on this post. This line of thinking gets to my next point, how do you convert a bargain shopper into a loyal customer?

First and foremost, coupon or not, if you don’t provide a great experience for the customer, there’s not much of a chance that any marketing program, no matter how good is going to get that customer back in.  Let’s just say this first time, coupon customer did have a great experience, how do you overcome the coupon mindset to keep them coming back. Giving them a coupon each time just isn’t realistic, or is it?

I’m a strong believer in rewarding the loyal customers and integrating a loyalty program. Locally, Duffy’s Restaurants promote their MVP cards and reward loyal diners with a $10 credit, for every $100 spent. That customer that may have been lured in to try Duffy’s with a coupon, and had a great experience will be very receptive to ongoing discounts as part of a loyalty program.

Other than collecting an email address, loyalty programs are the golden chalice of customer retention. The only downfall of these programs are poor execution, or poor communication and understanding the value of being part of the program. If you have a CVS card you can probably relate. I mean, what do you really get with that card? Who knows…all I know is even if I don’t have the card, the clerk scans a code and I get a discount or something.

The other issue is how many loyalty cards is one person realistically going to carry with them? There are some new options but none have really caught on. An app in development by www.newtopalmbeach.com has shown some exciting promise. The app will organize all of the local loyalty programs into one app, so you just have to download it once, and you will get rewarded each time you frequent these establishments.

No matter how you choose to execute your loyalty program, it remains a key component to move your small margin coupon shoppers into an ongoing steady source of revenue and referrals for your business.

As a business owner or top-level executive, how much is your time worth?

Business owners are faced with many different tasks throughout the day. At small to mid-sized companies that becomes even more prevalent. This often drains their time away from focusing on the ‘Important / Non-Urgent’ activities that no one else but the owner can do, and that are critical to the growth of the company, and more time in the ‘Important – Urgent’ quadrant.

These tasks are highlighted in the Stephen Covey Quadrants graphic below:

This is the question you need to ask yourself…how much is my time worth? When you see that your time is being spent primarily in other quadrants, there may be a good case for considering a ‘work smarter, not harder’ approach. We like to use the motto ‘do what you do best, and let us do what we do best’.

The chart below highlights some of the major time drains (click on the image to enlarge), that need to get done, but are not necessarily where a business owner should be spending most of their time. As we review this list with owners and top executives, we find that some of these tasks are not being done or even on the task list, due to the lack of time available to allocate to each.

 

 

Working with our agency, we can take on as many of these services as you need to address, when we engage with you and place media buys on your behalf. Not only will these tasks be performed more effectively, but also efficiently, as our experience and agency buying power will benefit you with better rates across the board.  Think about it, for the same budget you will receive increased media exposure, so even with the same results, you will increase your ROI. One of our clients was able to double his media exposure, with the same budget resulting in double digit gains.

If you reach the end of your day, and keep feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything, working with a professional advertising and marketing agency can get you back on track, and back to where your focus will best help the growth of your company.

Everything old is new again…really new!

Some of you may remember a face to face marketing company that would basically drive up to the homes of new residents, in their station wagon, and deliver a basket of house-warming gifts from paid advertisers….Brilliant!

Logistically, we can see how this business model would have a tough time surviving today, but the marketing strategy of being the first business to welcome a new resident remains highly coveted, yet poorly executed.

Enter ‘New To Palm Beach’ (.com of course!). This is the first time in a long time that a tradigital marketing program offers advertisers this ability to specifically target new residents to Palm Beach County. Using direct mail, New To Palm Beach (N2PB) will send an average of 10,000 new residents each month, a coupon book filled with exclusive offers from a limited number of advertisers.

These coupons will arrive in a custom envelope and includes a free fridge magnet inside. As consumers flip through the book and redeem the offers that most appeal to their needs, they will be asked to visit the website to register for more offers. Redemption rates from these coupons are estimated in the 20% range based on the presentation and appeal to the target market (as well as statistics from similar programs), where a typical stand-alone ‘direct mail’ piece averages only 1% to 3%.

At www.newtopalmbeach.com consumers will have the ability to print additional coupons, access the blog with features of local businesses (written by Aaron Wormus – ‘A Guy On Clematis’), as well as to sign up to receive updates from the community events calendar. This website, along with its social media network including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will keep loyal customers engaged and returning to redeem additional offers and to get the scoop on the latest in Palm Beach County.

The beauty of the website will be in its ability to collect ‘hyper-local’ information, and offer email marketing down to the zip-code level. This type of information will allow even a one location ‘cleaners’ on the corner of Jog and Hypoluxo to target an email offer, with very little waste and a high probability of conversion.
So while N2PB uses the mail and an ‘electronic wagon’ to welcome new residents, the focus remains on being the first to reach this lucrative market, which has yet to establish their buying patterns.

If you are a business owner and would like additional information on how to get involved, please visit N2PB.com. And to keep things interesting, all residents who register online will have a chance to enter and win a new iPad mini!

If it ain’t broke…find a way to break it!

The old adage, ‘If it ain’t broke’ don’t fix it’ is just too old fashioned to work anymore. Believe me, I’m old fashioned and I believe in tried and true methods, but the problem is that technology continues to evolve at faster and faster speeds. The result is many strategies or tactics become dated much faster, and if you’re not ahead of that wave, it will crush you!

I’ve seen it over and over, working in the music business when we would actually sell records (remember those!). Or when I worked at Circuit City which had over 560 stores nationwide, and disappeared in a matter of minutes!

It’s not good enough to monitor the competition and try to out-do their best efforts. You have to poke holes in everything you do, and be your own competition in order to fully stay ahead of the game. If your business is in the technology sector, this blog may be a moot point (at least I hope it is), but if you’re not in technology you still have to think the same way, because your customer IS in technology. No matter what you service or sell, your customer is searching online, using smart phones, apps and if you don’t measure up, you will lose market share.

This goes so far beyond having a website (and making sure it’s mobile), but even beyond that, are you truly focused on giving your customers the best experience possible at every touch point? I know it seems overwhelming, but the people at the top of your organization should be challenging each other in this way, every day! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve met with potential advertisers who weren’t really sure who their target market or heavy user is!

What if…is a great way to start the day, or a weekly meeting that digs deep into the ebb and flow of your operation. The scariest thing for a company to experience is success. As we strive and fight to get there, we look at every angle, inspect every transaction and rethink every outcome. Success can often cause complacency, and by the time you look in your rear view mirror, that little one-man shop that opened up last year, is now doing a better job than you, and taking most of your customers.

I recall working in the classified department of the Palm Beach Post, and a wise old manager said, ‘we have a problem…half of our income is coming from classifieds, and a little guy named ‘Craigslist’ is devastating the industry one paper at a time. We need to diversify…’

Well, anyone familiar with the newspaper industry and print in general knows that they did not break that mold quick enough and continue to struggle to replace that income.

I say, break something in your organization every day. Your partner or boss my not appreciate it right now, but in the long run, they will thank you!