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A brew of marketing and advertising news for your insatiable knowledge palette

7 Ways to Get Your Print Ads to Convert

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Feb 09, 2016 @ 01:23 PM

How often do you spend money on print campaigns only to have them give you less than stellar results? You’re not alone, many marketers are investing more and more ad spend and simply not getting the results they desire. This causes some to throw in the towel and put all of their budget and effort into digital channels, and that’s a shame, because print is still one of the most effective channels to engage consumers and drive action.

The following are 7 ways you can get your print ads to convert so your overall campaigns deliver bigger and better results.

Grab Attention with a Benefits-Driven Headline

You only have seconds to get your reader’s attention. If they skim your headline and it doesn’t make them want to read your entire offer, you’ve lost them for good. Therefore, your headline must offer the reader your key benefits. In other words, “What’s in it for them?” Why should they care what you’re offering, and why should they even want to read the rest of your ad? Will they save a lot of money? Have whiter teeth in just 5 days? Have more energy and sleep better at night? Lead with your main benefits and make sure the headline text stands out from the rest of your ad by using big, bold type.


Don't make readers read your adsDon’t Make the Readers Read Your Ad

Today’s readers aren’t really readers, they’re skimmers. Their eyes easily glide over printed pages until something jumps out at them. Your headline has captured their attention – that’s great. Don’t lose their attention now by forcing them to read a chunky paragraph of tiny text. They’ll give up before they even begin.

Instead, make your ad skimmer-friendly by using bullet points to list out the rest of your offer’s benefits. Also, make sure you are not writing past an 8th grade level. Keep it simple and easy to digest.


Include a Clear Call-to-Action

One of the biggest mistakes we see our clients make is to not include a call-to-action (CTA) within every print ad. Your call-to-action is what is going to drive response. It’s not enough to list your offer’s benefits and then hope the reader will take action – you’ve got to tell them exactly what they need to do. Do you want them to call a specific 1-800 number for more information or visit your website? Maybe you want them to clip out a coupon and bring it into your store for 20% off. The most effective CTAs are the ones that include a sense of urgency, so make sure that coupon has an expiration date!


Give People Options

A Direct Marketing Association study found that ads that offered prospects an option of how to respond (say calling a phone number OR visiting a web address), got a higher response rate than those ads that only offered a single option. People like choices so give them some.


Track, Test and OptimizeTrack, Test, and Optimize

Print advertising is direct response advertising. You’re not trying to build brand awareness with the ad in your local newspaper, you’re trying to make more sales – period. When it comes to direct response ads, the biggest mistake you can make is to not track, test and optimize. You’ve got to track your ads to see if they’re effective at all, test different things (headlines, benefits, images) to see if you can do better, and optimize (AKA make any necessary changes) them for the biggest ROI.


BONUS TIP - Build a List and Nurture It

Numerous studies have shown that consumers don’t generally convert the first time they see an ad but will eventually after they have been exposed to an offer repeatedly. While running the same ad in your Sunday paper will eventually get a lot of people to convert – why leave any sales on the table?

Consider sending traffic to a landing page and give them something of value for free in exchange for their email address. It could be a free report, free recipes, anything that supports your brand and offer. Nurture these prospects with valuable information and routine offers via an email newsletter and you will increase the ROI from your initial print ad.


Maybe after reading this post you’ve realized you’re doing most everything on this list except using a CTA or putting your benefits front and center in your headlines. Making even the smallest adjustment to your print campaigns can make a huge difference in their performance.

  Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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7 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 03:45 PM

Saying that digital marketing evolves quickly is like saying the sun is hot or bacon is really good – a big understatement indeed. Each new year brings advances in hardware and software and new user preferences. In order for small, local businesses to stay competitive they’ve got to be aware of the latest trends in consumer behavior as well as what is and is no longer working.

As 2016 unfolds before us, here are 7 trends to consider as you plan your marketing strategies:


  1. More Budgets Will Be Allocated toMore Budgets Will Be Allocated to Social Marketing Ads Social Marketing Ads

An Adweek survey of 5,000 marketers found that 70% plan on spending more of their digital marketing budget this year on social marketing ads. A sizeable 66% of those companies surveyed consider social media fundamental to their business.


  1. Content Marketing Becomes Even More Impactful

Content marketing has been king for quite some time, but 2016 will see it become even more impactful to bottom lines. A Smart Insights survey found that nearly 20% of marketers feel content marketing will have the biggest impact on their businesses. This far outweighs the combined totals of marketers who believe organic search, paid search and social media marketing will make the biggest impact.


  1. Organic Social

The same Adweek survey found that 70% of marketers plan on using content marketing to up their organic social marketing game as a way to build their online presence and expand their brand reach. Brands plan on using useful and entertaining content to complement their social media ad spend and drive action.


  1. Mobile Websites Become Critical

In May of last year, Google announced that mobile traffic outpaced desktop traffic in several countries, including the United States. Data from Smart Insights suggests that the average time spent on a PC isn’t really decreasing, but that time spent on mobile devices is rapidly increasing. Marketers have been hearing for years that they had better ensure their websites include a mobile design, and 2016 is the year brands will definitely feel the sting of lost revenue if they haven’t already heeded this advice. This does not mean efforts on updating desktop sites are unimportant, as these efforts remain as important as ever.


  1. blank-video-project-final-3-hed-2015.jpgMore Ad Spend on Video Content

Video ads are not new, and 2015 saw many companies experience success by uploading video ads onto social media sites and YouTube. Google also began testing video ads in their PPC search ads, and marketers found using Facebook paid ads worked well. This year we can expect more brands to spend ad budgets on promotional and creative videos.


  1. Marketers Will Spend More Time Wooing influencers

Since the beginning of advertising and selling goods, business owners have always looked for the best way to acquire new customers. Come 2016, marketers will realize the newest and best way to gain new customers is to chase and woo influencers.

Called influencer marketing, the strategy of having an industry expert or even celebrity mention or promote your offering to their followers is expected to grow faster than PPC and SEO in the coming year. There are different ways marketers might attract these influencers such as sending free products to review, offering a cross promotion, or even just paying a fee.


  1. Email Marketing Remains a Core Pillar of Online Business

Adweek’s survey also found that nearly three-quarters of business owners felt that email marketing remained a core pillar of online business. You could say that the money is still in the list and can expect good chunks of marketing budgets, specifically for paid and organic search, to go toward capturing emails and list-building efforts.

How much time will you be dedicating to these 7 digital marketing trends in the new year?

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Here’s Why Print Advertising Will Gain Even More Traction in 2016

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 01:11 PM

As technology continues to evolve and impact the way we do business, many advertisers have turned their attention toward digital strategies and away from print, assuming that print is dead. But print is very much alive and, in fact, only continues to grow and change because of technological advancements. According to a survey by Pitney Bowes, 76% of small businesses say their ideal advertising strategy combines both print and digital channels.

There are many reasons why print will gain even more traction in the coming year. Here are just a few of them:

Variable Printing

While variable printing has been around for some time, it is only recently that printing advancements have lowered Variable Printingthe cost, allowing more advertisers to take advantage of it. We all know just how powerful relevant and personal messaging can be to a campaign, and variable printing offers the ability to change elements from printed piece to printed piece.

Think of the possibilities: running a mailer campaign where each postcard contains the recipient’s name (personalized touches make your audience members feel special and pay more attention to your message), or printing coupons that have individual serial numbers that can be easily tracked.


QR Codes and NFC

Most consumers are never without their smartphone, and this is highly advantageous to print marketers because of the interactivity possibilities. Gone are the days of including a URL in your printed media and hoping that readers actually took the time to type it into their browsers. Thanks to QR codes and NFC (near-field communication) technology, print media can be directly and immediately connected to your digital assets.

QR codes can now be customized using different colors and patterns so they will seamlessly fit into your brand’s image, and NFC uses a tiny microchip that sends signals to mobile devices without the need to scan.

Perhaps the greatest thing about these new technologies is they allow advertisers to do much more than connect printed campaigns to websites: they can play videos instantly, distribute files, and even activate augmented reality features. Talk about engaging!


mobilesocial-resized-600.jpgPrint + Social Media = TLA

There’s no question that social networking is an effective way for businesses to engage with customers. But what many advertisers have failed to recognize is that social media can be fully integrated with any print campaign. Look at business cards – these printed materials have been around forever but you’d be hard-pressed to find one without the person’s social media address printed on it.

The takeaway advertisers must remember this year and always is: print media can help draw attention to their social media pages, while social media pages can strengthen their print campaigns.


Less Competition Makes You Stand Out More

Who wants to spend time and energy competing with the entire world online for consumers’ attention? It is simply becoming harder and harder to stand out in such a crowded marketplace. Since most businesses have fully migrated their advertising efforts to digital channels, a void has been left and smart advertisers are ready and willing to jump in and get noticed.

Print is also much more tangible than digital, which means not only will you get noticed, but consumers will engage with your messaging more. Consider the difference between quickly checking an email versus getting a postcard in the mail; ignoring a banner add VS paying attention to an ad in your trusted, local newspaper.


When you consider these 4 advantages, there’s really no doubt that print will gain more traction in 2016 and prove itself, once again, to be a highly effective marketing channel.
Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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Achieving Your Marketing Goals in 2016

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 @ 12:34 PM

I was recently reading a blog post about actually achieving your New Year’s resolutions (so I’ve got to lose 10 pounds, is that a crime?), and it got me to thinking that many businesses set marketing goals for themselves each year, but not all achieve them.

Why is it that achieving business goals can seem like an even bigger challenge than losing weight and quitting smoking? What is the right method for setting goals that will actually challenge and grow the company but that are actually realistic? It’s a bit like weightlifting (another goal of mine). You need to find that sweet spot where your muscles are challenged just enough but where the weight being lifted (or attempted to be lifted) is realistic.

How many goals are too few and too many to set and how do you know which one you should focus on first? How do you keep the organization focused on the same goal? How much budget should be allocated for each goal? The amount of questions are enough to make you begin smoking again!

While every enterprise is different, there are some basic goal setting and achieving guidelines you can follow to ensure your biggest growth and success in the coming year:

Know Thyself

In order to set marketing goals that are just challenging enough but realistic, you’ve got to first known your current position. You’ll want to really sit down with other team members to determine your growth levels to date. For instance, if you know traffic to your website has grown steadily by 5% over the last 6 months, you feel certain that a goal of 7% will be challenging but totally do-able.


Don’t be Vague

Vagueness is a real marketing killer. Setting a goal like “make more sales this year” is not really quantifiable and therefor, it’s not a good goal to have. Sure, everyone wants to sell more but your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. goals, as in: specific, measurable, achievable, result-focused, and time-bound.

Get specific:

  • We want to raise revenue for next quarter by X%
  • We want to generate X leads in the next 3 months
  • We want to gain X Twitter followers each month


Map Out MilestonesMap Out Milestones

Often it’s simple to state a goal, but then challenging knowing the exact steps to achieve it. This is why it’s a good idea to work backwards; start with your end goal in mind and ask yourself why that particular goal matters to your business. Once you know why it’s important to achieve this goal, think of the tasks that are necessary to achieving your goal and put them in order of priority. Finally, set milestones so you and your team can work together to reach these deadlines and continue forward movement.


Stay Focused

Easier said than done, right?

Here’s how to do it: Choose no more than one to two core goals for the year (these will directly impact your revenue), and no more than three supporting goals. This will help everyone focus on the tasks at hand.


Have Fun Reaching Your GoalsHave Fun Reaching Your Goals

You’ve no doubt heard it said before it’s not about the destination but the journey. And while this sentiment often causes instant eye-rolling among the business crowd, the thing is, it’s really true.

It’s entirely too easy to get lost in budgets and spreadsheets and metrics and quarterly reporting and forget why you started your business to begin with. As soon as the fun goes out the window, employee performance takes a hit, ad campaigns flounder, and sales drop.

Successful businesses are the ones who never let marketing goals overtake the fun of being in business in the first place.


Embrace Failure

While failing is never a goal, it’s going to happen. When it does, embrace it because failure often teaches us more than success. Failure will lead to speculation, introspection and above all else (hopefully) experimentation. These three things combined usually lead to better outcomes!


When you know how to set the right marketing goals and how to achieve them, success is assured.

  Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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6 Steps to Creating Successful Integrated Marketing Campaigns in 2016

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

As we start the new year, marketers have even more options than ever before in regards to how and where to promote their business. Besides traditional channels like direct marketing and print ads, there’s email marketing, mobile marketing, banner ads and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

With so many of your target audience members engaging across the wide, media spectrum, it’s no longer feasible to run an entire campaign on one channel. Integrated marketing campaigns offer better reach and allow you to craft messaging for specific channels your customers prefer.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating integrated campaigns, as each brand will have different goals and budgets, there are specific steps every marketer should follow to ensure the greatest success.

Step 1: Know Your Target Audience

Know Your Target AudienceYou’ve got to know your audience inside and out to be successful with any marketing tactics, specifically within an integrated approach. Understand who they are demographically (age, gender, education) as well as psychographically (behavior, attitudes, interests). This information will help you choose the right channels and develop effective messaging.

Determining what your prospects motivations are, how they like being communicated with, which sites they visit regularly and magazines they peruse, and what their questions and pain points are is a crucial first step to developing a successful integrated campaign.


Step 2: Select Your Channels

Don’t pollute your marketing efforts by selecting 12 channels when you could have equal or greater success with only 4. If your target audience isn’t on Facebook, then don’t bother with Facebook just because social media gurus tell you you HAVE to be on there.

After you have determined which channels your customers currently use, you’ll have to consider the channels’ strengths and weaknesses. Be certain they will be able to help you reach your business objectives. Again, don’t sink ad dollars and time into channels that aren’t going to be effective or give you the ROI you’re looking for.


Step 3: Pay Attention to Brand Consistency

While messaging should be tailored to each individual channel, you must be certain your visual brand identity remains consistent across all. This goes beyond having a logo present and entails having an overarching design. Are your colors and fonts the same? Style of graphics and photography consistent? Overall, does your content on Twitter have the same look and feel as your printed brochures? Prospects should be able to make an immediate visual connection when seeing your ads, no matter where those ads live.


Step 4: Develop Content with Repurposing in Mind

Develop Content with Repurposing in MindCreating content for one channel on a consistent basis is challenging enough, creating for multiple channels consistently can feel diabolical. To get the best results (and make your life much simpler) make sure that every piece of content you develop can be used in multiple places. For instance, a white paper could be broken down and made into 6 different blog posts. You could take the content from a popular blog post and turn it into a script to create a more engaging video hosted by your CEO.


Remember to think of your audience on each channel to determine the best kind of content to develop.


Step 5: Get All Team Members on Board

If you have multiple people working on different projects within the same integrated campaign, you’ll want to be sure all team members are on the same page so messaging and band image stays consistent. This could be as simple as having weekly meetings.

The same is true if you are using different agencies to produce different segments of your campaign. Appoint an in-house team member who will be responsible for coordinating all efforts.


Step 6: Track and Adjust

As with any campaign, an integrated effort requires the right analytics to determine whether or not you’re hitting the mark and seeing enough conversions. You might use a specific tracking platform for your social media channels and a simple 1-800 number for your print campaigns. If you’re not getting the ROI you had aimed for, adjust and try again.

As you can see, these steps are fairly common sense, and yet it is incredible how many marketers skip right over most of them, choose channels that are “in” and popular (does a local plumber really need an Instagram account??), and don’t consider how each channel and message should work together to drive a particular action. If you follow these 6 steps, your integrated campaigns have a much better chance of being successful.

  Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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4 Marketing Tactics Local Businesses Should Focus On in 2016

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 01:17 PM

2016 is finally upon us, and while many individuals are busy putting together treadmills and buying cute little workout ensembles to lose those extra 25 pounds, you’re busy thinking of ways you can whip your business into shape so your bottom line has its healthiest year yet. Good for you!

The following 4 marketing tactics are simple, cost-effective and can prove very successful in the New Year.

Email Marketing

Email MarketingNo, email marketing is not by any means a new marketing tactic, but for some reason or other many smaller, local business owners are still ignoring it. It doesn’t matter the size of your company, where you’re located, or whether you’re a local retailer, plumber, or real estate agent, the fact is if you have a well-managed email list, you have a powerful channel to drive sales.

Still not convinced? Consider these eye-opening statistics from marketing company OutboundEngine:

  • For every $1 invested in email marketing, marketers can expect a return of $44.25.
  • Typically 91% of consumers check email daily.
  • Email marketing is roughly 40 times better than Facebook or Twitter for acquiring customers.

In the coming year, focus on growing your list (a vanity URL in your print ads can point readers to your landing page where they can opt-in), and segmenting that list so you can always send relevant messages. Also, consider using automation to improve your messages’ performance and make your life easier.


Think Like Your Prospective Customer

Marketers that make decisions based on their customer’s experience will do well in 2016 and beyond. Take a look at all of your marketing campaigns and channels to see if, by focusing more on the customer perspective and experience, they couldn’t be improved.

  • Check your website – is it cluttered and loads slowly? Then invest some time and money on making improvements and be sure it is optimized for mobile.
  • Is your marketing collateral unappealing? Clean it up and get better images and/or graphics made for greater impact. Also consider hiring a professional copywriter who can write more engaging product descriptions and company information that readers will actually read.
  • Walk around your store or place of business. Is it welcoming? Does the layout make sense? Is your staff fully trained and able to answer questions your customers may have?


Focus on ads that bring you instant resultsFocus on Ads That Bring You Instant Results

Rarely do smaller, local businesses have the budget to place ads whose sole purpose is brand awareness – and that’s a GREAT THING. Just because you have money to throw away doesn’t mean you literally should, and yet many marketers do.

This year focus on ads that bring you results and buy ads that will generate instant returns for your business. Try:

  • Shared mailed coupons like Valpak
  • Coupon offers in printed publications
  • Free Standing Inserts
  • Direct mail campaigns
  • Pay-per-click ads on Google


Work With a Professional Media Buyer

Many smaller, local businesses try and go it alone with their advertising campaigns in an effort to save money. But that tactic often has the same dismal results as trying to fix your own car or roof in order to save money.

The truth is, today’s media landscape is fragmented and utterly confusing at times. Business owners can’t possibly be an expert at running their own company AND buying ad space. It takes knowhow, experience, and great negotiating skills to be able to develop and execute a successful campaign within a set budget.

This is why so many companies are seeking the guidance of a media buying agency to help them with their media planning and buying, and why you may want to do the same in the coming year.

Here’s to expanding your business and growing your bottom line in 2016!

  Request a Free Local Media Analysis for Your Clients!

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What Advertisers Can Learn from GoDaddy

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 29, 2015 @ 12:23 PM

Well it happened. After 10 years of putting out what many have called “some of the most cringeworthy Super Bowl spots in the history of the Big Game,” GoDaddy has decided to forego appearing in this year’s broadcast.

Why would a national brand pull out of advertising’s biggest event of the year? A rep from the registrar and hosting giant said the decision is part of an ongoing shift away from "high-level domestic brand awareness to a more personalized, data-driven marketing approach." GoDaddy recently appointed Omnicom’s TBWA to spearhead its worldwide marketing strategy that will now focus less on brand awareness and more on targeted marketing.


What Can You Learn From Godaddy?

It’s always a good idea to look at the methods and tactics you’ve used in the past to see if they are aligning with your current marketing objectives. If not, time to rethink things and change your approach.

With this in mind, here are some timeless advertising channels to consider for the coming year:

Direct Mail

Many advertisers feel that direct marketing offers the biggest ROI of any channel. This is because your message reaches each recipient in a highly personalized way. While the ROI is strong, be warned that the initial investment can be steep. If you’re on a shoestring budget, this may not be an option for you right now, but if you have the funds to allocate, this may be the most effective way of reaching your audience.


TelevisionTelevision advertising

Many smaller local businesses think they can’t afford the reach of television ads. While this may have been true 15 years ago, the explosion in cable television stations and programming has made it incredibly affordable for businesses of all sizes to leverage this powerfully engaging medium.



Radio has proven itself as a highly effective medium for generating brand awareness for businesses of all sizes in a variety of geographical markets. For smaller, local business, the key to successful buys is negotiating exactly what you want based on your target audience, budget, and the station’s ratings. If you’re interested in trying radio this year, it’s best to work with a skilled media buyer who excels in negotiation tactics.


Out of Home AdvertisementOut of Home (OOH)

OOH has evolved significantly over the past decade to include digital displays, placed-based media, transit and cinema. Gone are the days of humongous static billboards. Today’s consumers demand far more engagement, and thanks to significant innovations, OOH offers brands a way to reach their audience in a memorable way.



Print advertising is going strong, despite some Internet enthusiasts’ claims. Print offers something no other medium does, and that is a tactile experience. When it comes to consumer engagement, nothing beats print. In fact, a 2013 study by Nielsen found that “newspaper print ads get noticed more than all other media and drive the highest purchase intent. And, newspaper media also demonstrated the highest level of engagement.”


E-mail Marketing

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to gain new customers as well as nurture existing customer relationships. This channels allows marketers to segment their audience so they ensure their message is always relevant and optimized. The key to successful e-mail marketing is to offer valuable information that sets you apart as an industry leader.


Social Media Marketing

Just because you have a Facebook page or LinkedIn account doesn’t mean you are leveraging the full power of social media marketing. It’s not enough to have a presence, you’ve also got to have a plan. Unlike other forms of advertising that generate awareness or interest, social media marketing is an actual living, breathing conversation with your audience. When done right, social media marketing can be pure gold.

2016 is almost upon us. Now’s the time to take an honest look at your marketing efforts for the past year to see if they’ve paid off. If not, take a cue from GoDaddy and try something new.

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media  

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Use OOH to Target Busy Consumers

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 @ 11:11 AM

Out of Home advertising (OOH) is not a new channel. In fact, it’s one of the oldest media in existence dating back to the mid-1800s, when circus posters and horse-drawn streetcar advertisements were ubiquitous. OOH is still thriving because it has constantly evolved and adapted to new formats, markets and technology.

The last five years in particular have seen great OOH innovations, which have helped advertisers take their message even further using a dynamic mix of billboards, digital displays, placed-based media, transit and cinema. This is important because with ever-increasing media fragmentation, advertisers need channels that are more relevant and more powerful than ever.

Okay, So What Makes OOH So Powerful?

OOH is one of the most powerful delivery methods out there because it reaches people no matter how they prefer to consume media. People spend roughly 70% of their day outside of their home. This is a big chunk of time. And while they may prefer to see ads via a newspaper or magazine or online banner display, they can’t help but see a billboard or digital display while driving or running errands. When they do they stop, take notice, and perhaps make a purchasing decision right then and there.

This makes OOH the only format that is ever-present and, creatively-speaking, incredibly versatile. When you add OOH to you media mix it can easily extend your reach and drive consumers to engage with your brand both online and in-store.


Things to Take Into Account When Planning an OOH Campaign

If you haven’t yet incorporated OOH into you media mix, now’s a really great time to tap into this powerful strategy. Here are some things you should keep in mind when planning your first campaign:



As with any other media, your budget will have a significant impact on the kind of format you use and where you place it. For instance, a small boutique hotel in Brooklyn will most likely not have the budget to stretch a large digital display in Times Square, but a smaller digital display at one of the airports could be a cost-effective solution.


MarketUse OOH to Target Busy Consumers

Where is your target market located? If prospects are local you would want to place your OOH ads where this local group frequents such as the local mall, on local transportation and on trashcans.

If you want to throw a wider net, consider using highway billboards and sports venues.



Volume of traffic equals success of OOH campaigns. The more motorized or pedestrian traffic exposed to your ads the better, so you want the best position your budget can afford. Don’t be dazzled by format if that format doesn’t get any traffic. For instance, someone wants to sell you a digital display for dirt cheap. Who cares of it’s digital? It’s dirt cheap because that display is at the end of a hallway in a remote part of a regional airport – no one’s gonna see it.



Yes, size matters in OOH. A small OOH board in a public restroom will not have nearly the same impact if hung off the side of a bridge. As long as you ensure your OOH ads are appropriate in size as they relate to the location and are clearly visible to your target audience, you should see a ROI.


As consumers increasingly ignore passive exposures to media and demand more and more engagement, brands turn to OOH because it allows a richer dialogue with their audience. OOH not only allows for multiple touchpoints throughout a consumer’s day but offers innovative ways to deliver messaging and gain brand awareness that cuts through the competition inherent in traditional media. In short, OOH ads get you noticed and drive action.

  Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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These Naughty Advertising Tactics Deserve Coal This Holiday Season

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 @ 02:48 PM

It is believed that in the olden days parents would put coal in the stockings of their children who had been naughty and blame the whole thing on Santa. These days “Santa” may hand out socks instead of an iPad or PlayStation to kids who have been naughty (AKA annoying as h*ll), in order to curb those unwanted tendencies.

It’s not just kids that can be naughty – advertising tactics can be as well. Just as naughty children can leave parents completely bereft of energy and good cheer, naughty advertising tactics can leave your company bereft of budget and ROI.

The following advertising tactics are naughty and deserve coal this holiday season (AKA – get rid of them):

Copying What Your Competitors Do and Assuming You’ll Be Successful

While it is a good idea to track and analyze what your competitors do – it’s not a good idea to assume that copying their strategy to a proverbial “T” will let you sit back and wait for those sales to come rolling in.

What works for one business may not work for yours, not exactly anyway. Yes, monitor the competition, but then spend a little time analyzing WHY they got the positive outcome(s) they did. Question their behaviors and strategies and determine if their tactics align with your businesses’ goals and target demographic before out-and-out copying them.


Adopting digital trendsAdopting Digital Advertising Trends Just Because Everyone Else Is

We are definite proponents of marrying traditional advertising (print and direct mail, etc.) with digital advertising (email marketing and search, etc.). What we don’t encourage our clients to do is jump on every single new digital marketing trend or platform that comes along.

While being an early adopter can be exciting, it can also potentially drain your ad budget within weeks and leave you with no money and no results. Just as with print advertising and other traditional channels, all of your digital marketing decisions should be based on hard data and whether or not they align with your business model and goals.


Focusing on Instant Sales

Focusing only on instant, top of funnel sales is patently wrong. You’ve got to think strategically and long-term. When you create your campaigns, focus on what your goals are. Are you trying to create brand awareness or entice qualified leads, because each will require a different approach?

If you only focus on instant sales and ROI, you may not see immediate enough results and assume advertising costs too much and is ineffective and quit.


Not Bothering to Test or TweakNot Bothering to Test or Tweak

Let’s say you do find a tactic that works nicely for you – should you just accept the good results you are getting or should you go for GREAT results? Obviously the latter.

While good results are good, they do not suggest that you can’t do better. Without being obsessive, you should constantly test your ads and the channels you use to see if you can’t get even better results. Don’t be adverse to change – be adverse to mediocrity.


Using Way Too Many Analytic Tools

The flip side to not testing is when business owners use 25 different analytics tools when using 3 would be much better. Unless you are a large scale enterprise, using numerous analytics tools will simply eat up your time, energy and budget. Tracking your campaigns shouldn’t be a pain in the butt. If it is, you’ll stop tracking and that is a very bad idea.


If you’re using any of these naughty advertising tactics, give them a very large piece of coal this holiday season and then kick them to the curb as hard as you can. This will help you see better results in the new year.

8 Steps to Increase Advertising Success via Twitter  

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What Matters Most With Newspaper Advertising?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 @ 10:38 AM

Ask any real estate agent what’s the most important thing when selling a piece of property and they will tell you without blinking an eye: “Location, location, location.” Ask a shop owner what’s the key to getting to the most foot traffic and they will quickly respond, “Location, location, location.”

So it shouldn’t be shocking to find out that when it comes to newspaper advertising, location, or in print advertising’s case – position – is the most important thing.

You Can’t Sell It If They Don’t See It

If you’ve ever placed an ad in your local newspaper and got a dismal response, chances are your audience simply didn’t see it. Even local newspapers are fairly large, and national newspapers… forget about it… some are over 400 pages long. It’s entirely too easy to get lost in there.

Now, think about how people read the newspaper. Before they start reading it, they deconstruct it, kind of like how some people eat an Oreo cookie. They divide the newspaper up into its sections and only read what they want. You Can't Sell It If They Don't See ItWomen may head to the inserts to begin making their weekly grocery list; men might grab the sports section; a college kid might grab the entertainment section while a budding entrepreneur might zero in on the business section.

The point here is, nobody ever reads the entire paper. Nobody. Generally people focus on one to three sections. And even when they grab the section they want, they won’t read the entire thing. This is why to maximize exposure you should be advertising on the front side of a section or the back side.

Even readers who aren’t interested in a section will generally see the front or back page of each section, even if it’s just to grab it and hand it to the person sitting across from them at the breakfast table. And, when they happen to be glancing or scanning and they see an eye-catching ad with an incredibly strong headline, they may actually pause and read your offer.

So, your real goal, or at least first goal, is to get people to simply see your ad. Your second goal is to get them to read it, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

As far as best position then, remember these tips:

  • Front (best) or back (second best) side of a section
  • Upper half
  • Upper right hand corner if at all possible

In the world of newspaper advertising, positioning is what matters most when it comes to getting your ad seen. When it comes to getting it read…


Make Your Ad Look Like a StoryMake Your Ad Look Like a News Story 

Here’s the second biggest tip to placing effective newspaper ads – don’t make them look like ads. Forget about using line art, embellished typeface and cute graphics. This is important – what gets the most attention in newspapers is the editorial content. So, once your ad is positioned well, make it look like a native news story.

Write a killer headline that grabs attention and announces the biggest benefit to your reader, and box and format them so they look just like a newspaper article. While everyone else’s ad will look like an ad, yours will stand out by not standing out.


Track Your Efforts

For some reason people have this idea that it’s not as important – or easy – to track offline marketing efforts as it is online efforts. But this is patently untrue. By using a dedicated 800 number or landing page, you can easily measure the success of any newspaper campaign. How will you know if the section you chose it the right one, or if the headline is working? Heck, how will you know if the newspaper itself is reaching your target demographic? You simply won’t unless you track.


Newspaper advertising is just as effective as ever. But, as with any marketing tactic, there are some definite practices that will increase your chances of success.


Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.


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