Tradigital Marketing series featured on South Florida Business Journal

John Garcia is managing partner and digital director of Baldrica Advertising and Marketing. He started working in the industry 25 years ago at a Fortune 500 advertising agency in New York City. Over time, he mastered the art of integrating TV, radio, print, billboard, cable, and direct mail with digital for maximum results. He spearheaded several digital initiatives during his seven-year tenure at The Palm Beach Post before moving to Baldrica.

http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/bio/19401/John+Garcia

The Center of the Bull’s-eye – How to create successful advertising campaigns with a limited budget.

There’s a lot to be said about the need for a well-rounded campaign, and fitting in the right amount of push and pull pieces to make a marketing strategy payoff. But oftentimes, with limited dollars, businesses need to have a strategy that best reaches their target market bull’s-eye with one good arrow.

Larger companies have the luxury of creating a balanced media mix. This often includes traditional advertising such as TV, Radio, print and others, along with digital options such as search, banner ads and retargeting. However, limited budgets mean limited options, and ‘testing’ different options can be a very expensive lesson to learn.

 

So how do you advertise effectively on a limited budget? Here are the four points you need to focus on to achieve success.

1. Identify the heavy user – with limited dollars you can’t target everyone, just because ‘everyone’ can benefit from your product. Determining the ‘primary’ user of your products and service will help you tremendously in zeroing in on your target, in order to determine which medium best reaches that audience.

2. Create a strong offer and professional creative – clearly a pivotal piece in the success of your advertising is an offer that engages your audience and moves them to action. It’s not only important to make this offer highly compelling, it’s also very important to make it clear what action you want your audience to take, and how to take it!

3. Do one thing right, before moving on – We can’t stress the importance of a well-rounded campaign, using the proper media mix for maximum impact. However, when working with a smaller budget you can be successful with just one medium. When Ironhorse country club was looking to add 25 new members, we moved their already saturated budget from newspaper to broadcast TV, and created two back-to-back :15 second commercials to air in The Fed-Ex Cup and The Ryder Cup. There was no other advertising supporting their new membership offer. In two months Ironhorse signed up 92 new members! This was the most positive result of any advertising campaign in their history.

4. A whole lot of this, and whole lot of that, gets you a whole lot of nothing. In advertising, we ‘professionals’ like to throw around the words ‘reach and frequency’ a lot, but alas, it’s true. If you don’t put enough into any medium to reach a large percentage of your target audience, and reach them at least 4 times or more, you might as well throw the money away. ‘Testing’ a media is OK; as long as you give the test the support it needs to satisfy the tried and true ‘reach and frequency’ formula.

If you need help creating advertising plan with a limited budget, please call or email us for a free consultation. While there is still no ‘guarantee’ in advertising, there is a typically a pretty good chance that if you don’t advertise, you will not grow or compete to the degree of your advertising competition.

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.

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!

What the Miami Heat’s Championship can teach you about marketing and advertising.

The NBA regular season is 82 games long, and I mean loooong! If you make it to the finals, that’s another 16 to 35 games, wow! I love basketball, but I think it’s fair to say, no other sport has the constant, physical and mental demand that basketball puts on you. In an instant you’re switching from offense to defense, with different assignments, players and situations to contend with…at full speed!

So how does a team endure that kind of journey, and win it all? While the Heat are now known for their ‘Big 3’ – lead by superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, they will quickly acknowledge that it took a team effort, and key plays by role players to get the job done. In marketing terms, it takes a ‘campaign’ to be successful.

In advertising, many companies go from one thing to another, hoping that they stumble across the right medium to bring them that coveted success. Although ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’ is something most people agree is not a good strategy, it is often the approach seen in advertising decisions.

The ‘Big 3’ in media for many companies could look like ‘TV, Radio and Print’. These 3 mediums still command the largest piece of the advertising pie, and can reach a large audience with a targeted message. But who are your role players? Internet, Direct Mail, Billboards, Email, etc.

The point is to plan a strategy around the right mix of media that best reaches your target market, so that each medium can build on the other. We often recommend a TV schedule that drives people online to ‘convert’ and add a direct mail piece to reaffirm the offer / message. Combing traditional and digital, (we call it tradigital) results in compounding effects for maximum return.

Putting one ad, here or there, and then abandoning it for another ad, here or there has never proven to result in any real progress or generate consistent sales. Work with your ad agency, to find what media mix best compliments your products and services in order to reach your target market and you will benefit from the results of a well-rounded campaign. Here’s to your championship season!

John Garcia – Baldrica is b digital.

The five questions to answer when deciding to hire an ad agency.

Nothing can quite compare to the excitement of a ‘small business’ that’s finding its legs and starting to show a real growth pattern. With it however, come a multitude of new opportunities and decisions for those at the helm.  One of those key decisions is when to hire an advertising and marketing agency. These questions and considerations can help you make that decision with confidence.

1. Are you overwhelmed with other projects? Let’s face it, every business owner wears many different hats, but when they monopolize your time to the point where you are not able to properly plan and manage your marketing plan, its time!

2. Are you getting a ton of calls from media reps? Have you noticed the only time media reps call is when you don’t need them? Media reps only put you on their radar when they know a company has the wherewithal to advertise. If you can’t keep up with the calls, and decide who to work with, its time!

3. Are you stuck in a creative rut? Even in good times, innovation and creativity need to remain in the forefront. Nothing can shoot down momentum faster than an ad or campaign that has boring or ineffective copy, or worse ties to be something it isn’t. If you’re not sure of your creative direction, its time!

4. Are you wondering what media is best for your business? TV, Radio, Billboards, Magazine, newspapers, and dare I say it, Yellow Pages; not to mention all of the digital options, where is the best place to invest your advertising budget. This is what we do best, and if you need expert advice and non-biased information, its time!

5. Are you wondering what advertising is working for you and what isn’t?  It’s been said ‘half of my advertising is working, I just don’t know which half’.  Well, imagine if you did!  We offer a ‘Free Media Audit’ which will clearly spell out where your ROI is positive and where you can reallocate some of your ad budget. If you don’t know where your ROI is coming from, its time!

Other points you may consider when deciding if it’s time to hire an ad agency include:

• A new perspective – a sounding board if you will.
• Expertise in marketing and advertising – you are too close to the forest to see the trees.
• Reduce costly mistakes – we’ve been there before, and will steer you away from it.
• A brand refresh – maybe all you need is to shake things up a bit.
• The creative eye – everyone can be creative, we get paid to do it.

If you find yourself somewhere in the middle of these points, it doesn’t cost you anything to pick up the phone and call us, or send an email to discuss your particular situation. Whether it’s just a free consultation, or our free media audit, let us help you gain a perspective of where you are, so you can help us gain a perspective of where you want to go, and we can show you how to get there!
John Garcia – Baldrica Advertising and Marketing Group (BAM) b digital agency, inc. 561-683-0404 jgarcia@bdigitalagency.com

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!