Is it time for a Brand Refresh or a Complete Marketing Makeover?

I learned something a long time ago in this quirky business of marketing and advertising. The common denominator if you will, between a successful campaign and one that performs poorly, and that is this: ‘The message only resonates with the audience, if the audience resonates with the message.’ HUH?

Exactly my point! No matter how well thought out your marketing message is, and no matter how strong the offer, it only ‘works’, if the audience wants it, needs it, and is ready to receive that message. No matter how great you think your product, service or solution is, it might not be right for the large majority of the audience you’re targeting it to.

We’ve seen it over and over, a company who just ‘can’t understand why their marketing/advertising efforts are ‘not working’. To complicate matters instead of gathering more consumer information (asking their customers and prospects what they really want), they continue to lock themselves in board rooms and come up with the next great idea.

So, to answer the question whether you need a brand refresh, or a complete marketing makeover would depend on how well you’re engaged with your customers, and how well you understand the needs and wants they want you to service.

If you are not gathering any feedback, no email marketing, no social media, very little in terms of customer service surveys or focus groups, it may be time to start over.   Scary thought I know, but what if I could show you the future, and you’re only a few steps from going over the cliff? Although starting over will be tough, at least you will set a foundation for a much brighter future.

If you can answer these questions, you’re in pretty good shape, if not read on!
1. Do you have a simple, emotional brand story that can cut through the clutter?
2. Is it still relevant today?
3. Is it the same story customers tell?
4. Can your employees tell it?
5. Does your experience stand out?
6. Do you know what aspects of the experience drive your brand?
7. Does your experience have a unique branded personality?
8. Are you managing the full customer experience across organizational boundaries?

If you are getting feedback, and understand where you’re missing the mark, a simple brand refresh may be in order. Just a few tweaks to get you back in good standing with your core or ‘heavy users’. If not, and you’re just going from pushing one message to pushing another in hopes one will ‘stick’ – it may be time to ‘pivot’ to persevere, and that is a much better approach then moving forward blindly.

The key is to constantly be measuring these results and tying it all back in to the feedback you receive. One of the biggest benefits of social media is the instant response you can gather and act upon, the latter being the key here.

Whether you need a complete makeover or a refresh, we will help you navigate those waters and guide you through the process based on the strategies and tactics we’ve developed over the last 30 years in business. Whatever you do, don’t go it alone! That may be the very reason you’re in this situation now, and repeating the same actions, will deliver the same results.

Please call or email us to schedule a free consultation. We will ask the tough questions, and work with you to develop a campaign that will get your brand back to the forefront where it needs to be.

5 Reasons why your coupons aren’t working (and why you still keep doing them!)

It seems logical that since ‘everybody’ wants to save money, offering a coupon can entice someone to ‘give you a try’, which turns into increased sales, and new customers.  The age old tradition of coupons seems to be bigger than ever. With the likes of Living Social and Groupon, coupons have reached an all-time high, yet there are many mixed results, let’s review some of the most common reasons why many coupon efforts fail, and how you can make improvements.

1. Nobody knows you – When you offer a coupon and you’re a relatively new company, offering a relatively new product or service, ‘couponing’ your way into the mainstream is not the most effective strategy. First, the perception of a coupon from a company that no one has ever heard of is that the product or service isn’t selling, so they had to discount it. Now you’re giving away your goods because nobody wants them, bad way to start!

2. No perceived value – Picking up on the ‘couponing’ mentality, if the consumer has no perceived value of your offer, it means nothing to them. This effect can come from the first point that nobody knows you, hence they don’t realize the value of your product or service, or your ‘15% Off’ does not entice them because they don’t know what the real savings is.

3. Competing on Price – Everybody wants a good deal, but when you create a business model based on your coupons you are sliding down a very slippery slope. Now you are training your customers (who may be willing to pay full price for the great value, service that you provide), to wait until you have an offer to come in.

4. Promoting ‘cheap’ instead of rewarding ‘loyalty’ – As coupons have the general effect of rewarding the ‘cheap’ to bring in new customers, it often does not create the loyalty you’re looking for. I believe all discounts should be tied into a loyalty program, rewarding consumers for being consistent patrons. This also builds a sense of partnership with your consumers as, they feel appreciated since not everyone who comes in with a coupon can get the same reward they do – hence they earned it.

5. No data – You print a coupon, you get the 1 or 2% conversion, bring in a bunch of customers who just wanted the deal, use the coupon, save the money, cut into your margins (many times coupons are loss leaders), and you never see them again until the next coupon. The worst part of this is that you don’t even know who these people are. You did not collect an email, ‘Liked’ us on Facebook, etc. All coupon offers should have an opportunity to be redeemed online, on your website of landing page, with a simple name and email opt-in so that you can build your database and not start from scratch every time you publish a new coupon.

These are the main reasons why your crazy cycle of coupon marketing is not working, yet you keep doing it.  On the occasional chance that it does work, it does not build up momentum from one offer to the next.

Let us show you a ‘Tradigital’ strategy can increase the results of your couponing by 35% or more, while building your own audience of engaged consumers on your website, email marketing and social media channels.

Build your own audience!

The conversation hasn’t changed, but where it takes place, has!

If you can bring social media down to it’s lowest common denominator it would all come down to ‘word of mouth’. Till this day, ask any business owner what generates the most leads or business, and you’ll still hear those three words.

When you place an ad on TV, radio, newspaper, etc, what you’re really doing is renting their engaged audience. They have the ‘reach’, you have to pay for that, and the more you pay the more frequency your ad will achieve. The problem is, each time you want to reach that audience, you have to start the process all over again.

Social Media is an opportunity for you to build your own audience. That’s the most simple way that I can explain it. Never before have you really had an opportunity to build your own loyal, engaged audience to interact with, build trust and loyalty and have conversations on a one to one basis. That’s the power of social media, and when your own ‘friend’ talks about a positive experience, that’s as good as any referral you can ask for.

As your own audience continues to grow, you will build your own base of loyal customers, family and friends and see a higher return all of your traditional marketing and advertising efforts.

Talk to us to see how we can help you build your own audience, and the effect it will have on your bottom line!

John Garcia
Digital Director
bdigitalagency.com

Are your business practices in line with your consumers buying habits?

We recently launched a new product to help companies in the Air Conditioning business generate more leads. The program is simply called BestACQuote.com and it’s based on the same premise that has made Lending Tree and other similar sites so successful.

 

For the most part, if you give consumers the opportunity to gather all of their information in one place, and that place delivers quality and trusted options, that will often be the preferable choice. For example when you look for the price on a plane ticket for an upcoming trip – do you visit each individual airline site, or do you go to Expedia or Kayak or a similar site?

This business model on the internet continues to grow in popularity as the sites become better at delivering valuable results in less time than it would take you to do the research. These results are very often competing on price, as it allows the consumer to ‘shop’ more easily.

I understand that most businesses don’t want to compete on price. Everyone would prefer to deal with consumers who are interested in the best ‘value’ for their money and bottom line pricing is not the ultimate deciding factor. However, reality in the marketplace weighs heavily in favor of the consumer shopping first for the best price, then looking at the value.

It was somewhat surprising to me at a recent air conditioning trade show, how many AC companies did not want to compete on ‘price’. They often stated that their not looking for that ‘type’ of customer, and that they were not the ‘cheapest’ guys out there. Really?

Value is all about comparing the price of something to what you’re getting in return. If I pay for one AC system that last me 5 years and pay $2000 or buy 1 AC that last me 10 years but pay $3,000, which one is the cheapest?

All that aside (basic best-selling practices), the bottom line is that the consumer does prefer to make decisions based on price, and if you’re not able to enter into that arena, how are you going to be able to enter into the value conversation?

I was in the music industry many years ago, when we would actually sell records. Records are these vinyl discs that would spin in a turntable or record-player and music would come out the speakers! I say this sarcastically because when things went digital (MP3 if you will) in the music biz, everybody pushed back, and everybody wanted to sue everybody.

Well, now iTunes is just a way of life…I mean, when was the last time you visited a record store? The point is when you don’t embrace technology, and learn how to leverage it and make it work for you, it will run you over and run you right out of business.

Get comfortable with www.bestacquote.com and www.lendingtree.com and www.expedia.com and any other site that comes along and delivers the needs of the consumer in the fastest and most reliable manner, because that is how business will be conducted online for many years to come.

The Five Keys to Increase Lead Generation.

The ultimate goal of a direct response advertising campaign is to generate new leads, and close more deals. As marketers we look at many different angles and forms of persuasion as possible, but business owner look at one metric: ROI. If you’re putting a direct response campaign together, these five steps are crucial to the success of your campaign:

#1 The Offer: In any direct response campaign the offer has to be appealing enough to capture the interest of the audience in a 2 to 3 second window. This doesn’t mean you have to include the word ‘Free’ or ‘Buy One Get One’ or ‘half off’, etc – it means the offer needs to be clearly understood and offer value beyond that of the competition.

#2 The Delivery System: Whether you use traditional media such as TV, Radio or Print, etc making sure that you have a ‘tradigital’ approach is key in today’s marketplace. Tradigital is using traditional media to drive digital for maximum results. A very small percentage of consumers choose to ‘call’ as their primary response to an ad. An overwhelming majority will prefer to email, text or visit a website, which is why you need to clearly communicate the preferred response option in your ad. Our best advice is to use a landing page online or ‘vanity URL’, that speaks clearly to the offer and only asks for name and email opt-in to redeem it.

 

#3 The Process: Far too often the creative overpowers the call to action, or the offer is cluttered in other messages and agendas. Keep the message to one clear offer, and just as important, one clear way to redeem it or take the next step in the process. If the ‘call to action’ is not clear, you may have a good offer, or a clever message that only a small percentage of people actually act upon.

#4 The Response: If the consumer does not immediately get a reply when asking for information or redeeming an offer, you can forget about making that sale. There are too many competitors and too many other opportunities and options for that consumer to wait for you. Whenever you can add a ‘personal touch’ to that response, it only adds value and increases conversion rates.

#5 The Follow Up: So the fact of the matter, not every inquiry will result in a sale – which is why we have email marketing. Don’t think of 5 new customers out of 500 emails a failure, think of it as 495 new prospects that may need a little more nudging or encouragement, or maybe just a little more time to come around. A sound e-mail drip campaign will dramatically increase your conversion rates as email remains a very strong closer for those on the fence.

Keep these five steps in place and you will see significant increases in the results of your advertising campaigns. For help with this tradigital marketing strategy to increase leads or any other marketing challenges, please call as at Baldrica Advertising and Marketing Group, or our digital agency, ‘b digital’. Thank you.

Ironhorse Country Club Case Study

This case study features Ironhorse Country Club of West Palm Beach. The manager Jason Hayes was challenged to increase membership by at least 25 new members in the 4th Quarter. Our Trenchant Marketing partners lead by Brittni Weiss and Kathryn Bulman met with Jason, and developed a campaign that delivered 91 new members and generated well over $300,000 in new revenue! Click on the jpg files below to see how we did it.

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If your business is struggling to achieve the results from your marketing and advertising campaign, call us for a free consultation.

How many of your 2013 business resolutions are influenced by digital?

“That’s it, this year I’m going to fix my website, figure out my SEO and SEM strategy, and keep consistent with building my email database and sending out great emails, and getting all my social media right and doing a better job following up on my leads!  Oh yeah and get a mobile site, and make sure my site looks good on a tablet…”

Many of us tasked with marketing our companies have a list like that and may include many of the above tasks.  Unfortunately, it may look very similar to last year’s list, and most likely the list for the past 3 to 5 years.  One thing is for sure, ‘digital’ continues to grow in importance and command more of your attention, but are you focused on the right tasks?

 

The reason that list keeps getting longer, and your results keep failing  to deliver positive results, is that you’re caught up in the digital wave of hype and want to make sure your Facebook page has as many ‘Likes’ as your competitor.  At the end of the day, are you generating more qualified leads?  If the answer is no, than you may want to shift your focus to a marketing campaign that focuses on lead gen.

How do you do that?

Implement a ‘tradigital’ strategy that starts with a  well-crafted traditional advertising campaign that asks your viewers, listeners, readers, etc. to visit a web (landing-page) to complete the process, receive the offer, get more information or whatever you call to action is.

Stop giving out phone numbers, stop printing coupons, stop sending people to an outdated website that doesn’t’ capture leads and does not even feature the offer that you’re currently promoting.

We’ve proven time and again, that a good offer, advertised in right media will drive up awareness, search activity and increase traffic.  When this traffic generated lands on a professional landing page you will convert that traffic to leads.  Any traffic not converted to leads become prospects that you will continue to engage through social media and emails.

We make it sound simple, and really it can be.  Implementing a tradigital strategy will keep the focus clearly on generating leads, and cut down on a lot of the costs associated with getting your ‘digital house in order’.

Call or email us for a free ‘tradigitial’ consultation today.

Lessons in marketing from 2012… “Pivot or Persevere”

This year was a complete blur to me. Moving out of a corporate job to launch my own agency and all of the lessons that I learned, really came at me fast and furiously.

Safe to say our ‘plan’ went out the window in a little less than three months. We set out to teach the world how to use digital marketing and advertising and how ‘inbound’ was the answer moving forward. Only to find out that ‘outbound’ is still very much in control of the equation and learning how to properly craft that outbound message, with proper ‘inbound’ tools and resources is the way to deliver maximum results.

We realized quickly that we had to ‘pivot’ from our original plan, rather than persevere through it. If we did not, and simply kept pounding our ‘digital’ initiatives, we would have never discovered what we coined as a ‘tra-digital’ initiative.

Even as we named our agency ‘b digital’, we came to understand that the only way to be digital, (for a very large portion of our prospects and accounts anyway) was to learn to be ‘tradigital’ and learn how to properly leverage traditional media to drive digital.

Now that we are at this point, we are set to persevere as we teach others how to implement this strategy for maximum results, and we have had great success in doing so. However, we will remain alert and ready to ‘pivot’ again if we see there is a better way to reach and maintain positive marketing results.

I learned a lot of things this year, but this ‘pivot or persevere’ is easily my most enlightening moment. It’s clear to me that a business, especially a startup, has its best chance to succeed, not based on how much capital it has, but based upon how many times it can successfully ‘pivot’ to meet the actual demands of the marketplace, and not the ‘perceived’ demands you set out to initially conquer.

As you look at 2013, and put your plans in place do so with an eye on the horizon, and ask yourself, at the end of each day, “are we doing what our customers and prospects are asking for, or are we forcing a product/solution on them?”

On behalf of everyone here at Baldrica/b digital agency, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a ‘Pivot or Persevere’ New Year!

The grass is not always greener on the ‘digital’ side.

Now that we are well into the ‘digital’ age, and everybody has a website, and just about everybody has a computer, and smartphones and tablets are the most popular forms of surfing the web, has digital changed the way you do business?

I really look forward to your responses because there is no doubt that digital has changed the way consumers form their purchasing decisions, but it’s also very clear that businesses have not kept up with their savvy prospects.

I’ve seen many businesses basically at the point where they’re throwing their hands in the air, frustrated that all of the promises the techy sales rep sold them are NOT coming to fruition. SEO, SEM, Landing Pages, e-commerce, lots of different investments with very little ROI; a common result we hear over and over. So what gives?

The fact is that ‘digital’ still has a long way to go to be able to stand on its own. Any business who has a digital strategy without taking into account the ‘traditional’ side of marketing is surely setting itself up to fail.

The grass is not ‘greener’ on the digital side. You will not simply be able to replace all of your traditional marketing and advertising efforts with SEO and behavioral targeting and think that you will be successful and here’s why.

Except for simple e-commerce, where consumers shop based on price, reviews and specifications, the digital battle is won on the traditional side. The businesses that use their well-crafted newspaper ad, TV ad and radio ads to drive traffic to a landing page (mobile enabled of course!) will see an increase in traffic and leads and real ROI.

These hard-fought battles in traditional marketing will increase all of your digital results by creating top of mind awareness. While ‘Google’ will always get the credit for driving traffic to your site, how a person decided to Google you in the first place, or click on your link on the Google results has a great deal to do with your non-digital or traditional efforts.

The acronym AIDA, ‘Awareness’ ‘Interest’ ‘Desire’ ‘Action’ is one that many professional marketers fully understand.  The less aware I am of your company the less likely I’m going to take action if I somehow stumble across you online.  In fact, on average you can expect a 25% increase in your search results when you are running a traditional advertising campaign.

So rather than abandon your tradigital side, learn how to best leverage it with a ‘tradigital’ strategy for maximum results.

Do you believe in Tradigital?

It seems to me that the difference between a company that embraces a marketing strategy that includes digital and one that does not, is simply how much that company believes in the value of the digital.

As an agency, when we first launched b digital, our business plan had us ‘leading with digital’. Meaning that we would approach our prospects with the intention of solving their digital problems by creating or improving their website, building landing pages, adding a mobile site, growing the social media pages, etc. As it turns out, most of the companies we work with, were not ready to have that conversation.

It’s a very compelling dynamic, that while everyone admits to using Google to search, or turning to a company’s website for more information before making a buying decision, that many companies continue to downplay the value of a well-rounded digital landscape.

I can see how the old adage…’if it ain’t broke, don’t’ fix it,’ dominates the decision makers, who are primarily 45+ (age) and grew up with a ‘traditional’ media experience. However, many times they are faced with the obvious facts that their traditional marketing and advertising campaigns are no longer delivering the results they once did, but remain reluctant to ‘pull the trigger’.

Case in point is the Yellow Pages. We had one particular account that was spending $500,000 per year in the plumbing category. Year after year, the account realized diminishing results, but between the old mind-set and threatening sales tactics, they continued to renew and increase their spend with the Yellow Pages.

Our media audit exposed this waste, and reduced their buy to $50,000 per year. The remaining $350,000 was put into a well-crafted advertising campaign that primarily used television and a landing page to convert leads. The result was an increase in business of over 300% and a company that now ‘believes’ not only in the value of digital but in what we call ‘tradigital’.

Using traditional media to drive digital is what we focus on with every campaign (tradigital). Whether or not your company feels that their digital assets are in order, an advertising campaign on traditional media of TV, Radio, etc., that drives the audience to landing page is a great way to test this strategy and start seeing results right away.

If you’re still not a believer, give us a call, and schedule a free consultation.