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 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

“Does your creative pass the test of time?” The Five questions you need to ask.

I heard a reporter say “People are pretty patient…for up to 2 seconds” this morning on NPR news radio. He was reporting on a story about how YouTube was looking into its video server technology and ways they could improve load times. The study showed that as soon as video began to delay because it was buffering, attention spans dropped dramatically. After only 10 seconds of buffering, most people left the page!

I think this point can be expanded to the overall mindset of today’s highly wired, and highly mobile society. We in marketing know that if you can’t capture a person’s attention in the first few seconds, they probably won’t stick around to hear your offer.

That ‘first impression’ window continues to close, and soon it will be called the ‘instant impression’ and you won’t have much more than a second to compete for your audiences’ attention.

What does that say for your website, or sales collateral or your presentation? Why not gather a few friends, outside of your business circle and put them to the test. See how they answer these questions after visiting your website, or viewing your ad and see if you pass the test of time. For the best results, ask them to only spend a few seconds viewing the material and then answer these questions: (you could test yourself, but we are often not good judges of our own work).

1. What was your first impression?
2. Did you feel compelled to move beyond the initial message?
3. Was there something in particular that caught your eye?
4. Can you clearly recall the offer or concept being portrayed?
5. Would you consider the offer and returning?

This 5 second, 5 question test can be brutally eye-opening but if we’re to break through the clutter of millions of messages and offers bombarding the public each and every day, you need to pass the test of time!

The best ‘creative’ doesn’t always win!

Is award-winning creative enough to create sales?

Many times as an advertising agency, it’s all about the ‘creative’…but is it? In my experience the most award winning creative, is not necessarily the most effective at driving sales.

The disconnect seems to be when the message crafted is based more on a great creative idea, in and of itself, then it is an idea that is based on the target market. Let’s face it, how many times have you seen a cute or funny commercial but had no idea what product or offer was being promoted?

It happens all the time and it makes me wonder how agencies can get away with it. I imagine there is a big inflated ego somewhere that is content with having the shiniest object in the room, even if it serves no purpose.

This approach is what has kept so many agencies going for such a long time. I think about all of those advertising awards and wonder what was that decision based on? How many of those campaigns actually had a significant impact in the most important barometer of success…sales?

Let me make this next point perfectly clear, without well-crafted creative, you have very little chance for success. I’m all about a catchy jingle, and a great headline and a clear call to action, but the goal should be to resonate and move your target audience to engage.

The sales process is often compared to a funnel, which at the top, (and the point which is furthest away from the sale) is described as ‘awareness’. This is often the part where many creative ideas go astray. You may make me aware of your advertisement by being clever or unique, but does it do anything to also lead me to the next stage which is interest?

Awareness and Interest are two very different stages and your creative can make people aware but if the message is wrong, it won’t appeal and interest will not be generated. If you don’t generate interest, you would have to start over, which can be a very costly mistake.

If there is no interest, or what we call ‘engagement’ then there’s small chance that person would move further down the funnel to evaluation and finally sale, so obviously, no word of mouth.

I know it’s so tempting to just go with the ‘coolest’ thing or put your marketing effort behind what everybody at your company likes, but take some time to get feedback from your target market. Whenever possible get a focus group together to see what they think. This is where social media can really come in handy. Facebook or Twitter are great ways to get feedback from ‘Fans and Followers’. This information can prove invaluable, and insure that your message is not only creative, but engaging and effectively communicates to the target market.

Those are the kinds of ads that get my vote for ‘ad of the year’, and as a business owner, hiring an agency good money to make your register ring; it should be where you cast your vote as well!