Televisions unmatched influence on consumers

Our agency goes through great lengths to insure that every media in our tradigital campaign is positioned to drive digital for maximum results. Some media channels are more challenging than others, but not for the reasons you think. In the chart below TV proves just how powerful a medium it is to drive digital. In addition a very interesting statistic jumps out at me that shows how the younger demo doesn’t engage with digital ads in thee same way they do with television. Many marketers try to prove that to reach a younger demo you have to reach them with digital, but you have to consider this point of engagement as a very real factor.

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.

‘A Little bit of this and a little bit of that…gets you a whole lot of nothin!’

More than any other recurring theme we see as an agency when engaging with our clients for the first time, is the fragmentation within their own marketing strategy.

The reason this happens is two-fold. First, there are many eager sales reps in the market place, each tasked by upper-management to sell this or that, this month (which will change next month). I know because I’ve been there, and you really can’t fault the reps, they’re just trying to make some money.

The second reason is typically the business owner, or the person in ‘charge’ of marketing doesn’t really have the time or vision to look beyond today’s challenge in order to lay out a proper campaign that looks long term and focuses on the target market.

So the reps come in, make a good pitch and the owner or marketing person says, ‘OK, I’ll try it’. Just like that another piece is added to the puzzle, more resources are sapped and the expectations bar is raised a little higher.

A large majority of the time, the results are dismal. The advertisers blame the reps for something that ‘didn’t work’, and reps defend their product by saying either the advertiser did not give it enough time, or didn’t put the proper support behind it.

The fact is that there is rarely a situation where one marketing or advertising solution ‘works’, all on it’s own. If you’re talking lead-generation (like with selling cars or homes) there are plenty of sites/search engines that can deliver good results without much help, but the typical brick and mortar businesses, that need to get people in their doors, requires a well-rounded campaign in order to be successful.

We recently helped a car dealership in Miami by conducting a free media audit. It was probably the first time the owner ever sat down and put an ROI to every bit of advertising they were doing. After that meeting, not only did we reallocate about $20,000 in wasteful spending, but we are now creating a campaign so that all of the parts are working in unison.

I guess you can rephrase the title of this blog entry another way: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!” This is where an experienced ad agency can help trim away the fat, keep you focused on your target market and get the best return on your advertising investment.  If you see yourself in this scenario, give us a call to schedule your free media audit, and let us see what we can do for you.

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

How ‘social’ is the Auto Industry?

Have you purchased a car recently or know somebody who has? Did a pic of the new vehicle make it to the Facebook wall?

Increasingly sharing these lifestyle events on social media are becoming more popular. Let’s face it, purchasing a new vehicle (even if its not new) is a big deal and one that many people would like to share with their friends and family. In fact, I’d like to share some recent statistics from the dealer.com website.

No other medium lets you enter into the conversations your customers and prospects are having quite like social media does. These slide prove that this segment continues to grow, and the sooner you understand it, the better you will be able to leverage it, and compete.

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.

Promote the Heck out of it…Build it and they will come!

Oh, but how often do we ignore that first little line…Promote the Heck out of it…and just go right to the building part.

Back in my good ‘ol days, well before I ever had a ‘real’ job, I was a ‘DJ’. Any DJ worth listening to was also a great promoter. Any great promoter also had a team of promoters, insuring that thousands of flyers, were given out, by hand (this is before Facebook and MySpace, heck before the internet!) so that everyone knew when the party was, where, what time, who was DJing and of course, how much you had to pay to get in!

Thanks to all of those efforts we had many successful events, and long lines of people waiting to get in, even on those frigid winter nights in Jersey. That’s what I call social networking!

Sometimes I forget those lessons I learned, and what it really takes to create a buzz, and get enough excitement built around something so that a significant amount of people make it a priority on their busy social calendars.

One thing is for sure, I would never DJ at a club unless I was absolutely sure that the ‘street team’ as we called it, was in full force, handing out thousands of flyers, and submitting guest lists well in advance.

 

That one lesson could serve so valuable to so many new businesses that open up each day, without any fanfare or following to speak of. It seems they all think that they can simply open the doors and the people will come, and more often than not, their doors close within a year. To think that you can spend all of your money getting your new business ready to open and not have any budget to properly promote and market it, is a recipe for disaster.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know how anxious I get each time I have a new idea and want to bring it to market. I’m working on a new project right now and I just want to get the show on the road, BUT, a big part of getting the show on the road is the pre-show.

It doesn’t mean that you’re not moving forward, it just means you’re laying down the best foundation possible and opportunity to succeed. This entails many different tactics that in today’s world including PR on the web, social media, YouTube videos that go viral, events, sampling, endorsements, and so on.
Don’t wait until you’re open to start promoting, you should get your street team together and start promoting six months before you open. Set up a landing page, and offer a VIP invite for anyone who signs up, and they will also receive a special something on your grand opening.

Akin to a famous Abrahm Lincoln quote: “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax”…if you have a new venture on the horizon, spend most of the energy getting the word out, to insure a successful opening and a strong foundation for the future!

“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!

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.