‘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 Lessons your marketing department can learn from the presidential campaign.

1. They call it a ‘campaign’ for a reason.

One of the major mistakes so many smaller companies make when it comes to marketing and advertising is they keep trying different things to ‘see what works’. The truth is they can all work, if they are executed properly, but the best chance for success comes from a sustained ‘campaign’. With the fragmentation in media, expecting a few commercials, or a few flyers or a few ads in the paper to ‘work’ is a recipe for disaster.

 

(picture credited to CNN Tech)
2. Reach and Frequency
Not only does the well-rounded campaign sell the candidate, making sure you have enough reach and frequency is crucial. For example, have you seen a presidential commercial? If you haven’t you probably don’t own a TV, but if you have, you’ve probably seen it on more than one channel. In order for a message to be ‘consumed’ it requires to be seen and seen often enough that it breaks through the clutter.

3. Media Mix
TV is a reach medium, radio creates momentum closer to the buying decision and print is your closer. We often create campaigns that use TV in weeks one of two of the month, followed by radio in weeks 2 and 3 and then we drop the printed ‘coupon / direct response offer’ in week 4. Each medium builds on the other, and creates more awareness. By the time the printed piece is received the consumer is well aware of the promotion or offer and is more likely to respond.

4. Digital Destination
Barack Obama is very good at using the digital technology that websites, landing pages, mobile sites and social media have to offer. Catchy website names that are easy to remember and great to promote on TV and radio generate huge amounts of traffic. Collecting data from these visitors is then much easier to do. This builds your own network and database by collecting emails and offering opt-ins, which becomes a very powerful tool when you include e-mail marketing to the back end of any campaign.

5. Don’t be afraid to call out your competition.
Good creative copy points can come when you feature your strengths in a side by side comparison over your competition. Unlike the candidates however, doing this correctly requires research and making sure your information has the facts to back it up!

Take these five lessons into account as you craft your next campaign and your company may just win over your prospects business.  Feel free to call or email us to get your campaign on the right track.

Is it time to call in the SWOT team?

A SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – and this is a great time of the year to pull it out, and get your plan ready for next year.


I particularly like this graphic because it also takes a look at the back-office (if you will) and starting from Marketing/Sales all the way down to Systems, it forces you to consider the whole operation.

What I would suggest is to do this as a company, and not silo the information by department. Sometimes the marketing department feels it’s doing a perfectly good job, but people in Operations have some insights that have not been considered. By involving a representative from each department, and allowing them to make their view or suggestion part of the process, you get an internal focus group that can uncover many competitive advantages, or spot possible areas of weakness you may have missed otherwise.

This information, in the hands of a capable marketer, and partnered with a competent agency will serve as the foundation for a sound marketing strategy that identifies the target market, and a plan to reach that them will have the best chance to succeed.  A SWOT analysis is also vital for the proper formulation of a marketing budget that will be required in order to support the initiatives ultimately deemed important to the success of the campaign.  More often than not, perfectly good plans are abandoned because the planning process did not properly take all aspects into account, and the necessary budget was not allocated.

If you have never conducted a SWOT analysis or would like our assistance, we offer this service for no-charge. Feel free to call or email to schedule your SWOT analysis, or click here for more information.Ping BlogHyper Smash