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Create Direct Response Ads That Actually Get a Response

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 @ 09:31 AM

More than ever CMOs are facing increased scrutiny when it comes to how they spend their marketing budgets. This is particularly true for small- and medium-sized businesses who require a significant ROI on every single advertising dollar to stay afloat. Because of this, traditional brand advertising is taking a back seat to direct response advertising.

You’ve probably figured out the hard way that it’s rather difficult to measure traditional brand advertising. Not so with direct response. These ads are far more tangible and easier to track, which is priceless to cost-conscious marketers. But with this obvious benefit comes a whole new set of best practices that advertisers can use to manage their direct response campaigns and optimize their revenue potential.

In order to manage the unique challenges and achieve real campaign optimization, as well as increase that revenue, marketers must focus on a few key campaign components:

Consistently Test for Performance

If your goal is to maximize your return on investment, then recognize now a critical advertising truth: One size never fits all. Ever. For this reason you had better get very comfortable with the idea of testing. Here’s your new chant: test, refine, optimize. Say it with me… test, refine, optimize.

Your direct response ads will live on different channels. What works on the radio may not work on TV or in your local newspaper or in a direct mail campaign. What performs well on one may bomb on another, so routinely test, refine, and optimize.

Track and Analyze Your LeadsCreate Direct Response Ads That Actually Get a Response

If you have no tools in place to track and analyze your leads, then most of the money spent on your campaigns is for nothing. You’ve got to be able to figure out where your leads came from and if they are converting well or not. Once you’re able to track and analyze, create a report of your campaign’s performance so you may take actionable steps to correct what isn’t working.

Cost and Long-Term Value

Before you begin crafting your direct response campaign you’ll need to determine what you can realistically afford to pay for each lead and subsequent sale, or risk running into trouble down the road. When figuring this cost, make sure to consider the long-term value of each customer and brainstorm ways you can pull even more revenue out of each. These figures should be factored into your upfront marketing costs.

Once your campaigns have been launched, take another look at your metrics to be sure your financial projections on long-term customer value were correct.

Be Sure Your Copy Is On Point

Direct response copy is very different from every other form of copy. Where an article or blog post is meant to educate, and a branded commercial is meant to briefly get viewer attention and subliminally plant an idea, a direct response ad is designed to lead the reader to make a buying decision right then and there. The goal of direct response advertising is getting the prospect to take immediate action. And the best part is direct response copy can be easily tested and adjusted to significantly improve the outcome.

As David Olgilvy once said, “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

Create Direct Response Ads That Actually Get a ResponseCommunicate Clearly with Your Media Buyer

Communication is obviously important to any campaign, but it’s particularly important in direct response. When branding is the goal, you have more time to see if the campaign has reached its objective. When immediate sales are the goal, and constant adjustment is critical to reach that ROI, keeping your media buyer in the loop with every change is essential.

Be sure to clearly communicate your expectations such as targets and budget with your buyer, and be open to their feedback, edits and ideas. A good media buyer will have more insights into which media and channels will offer more revenue potential. Constant communication will ensure you hit your campaign’s goals.

These guidelines will help you plan your next direct response campaigns so they actually get the desired response.

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Topics: direct response advertising

4 Reasons Newspaper Inserts Are Highly Effective in the Digital Age

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 08:53 AM

As a marketer, you may be surprised to learn that today’s consumers still turn to traditional media despite an increase in their digital media consumption habits. According to a Coupon Trends report by Inmar, coupons are still the most powerful influencer among shoppers, and many of those coupons are found and clipped from newspaper inserts. In 2014, distribution increased by 3.2 percent and 2.9 billion coupons were redeemed.

Newspaper Inserts Have a Wide Reach4 Reasons Newspaper Inserts Are Highly Effective in the Digital Age

Also known as free standing inserts or FSIs, newspaper inserts are the single sheet ads placed in the center of newspapers that are distributed to readers in targeted ZIP codes. These inserts include a variety of promotional offers such as information on current sales, mini-catalogs, and new product launches.

Savvy shoppers use these inserts to save on products and services they use often. And, despite what you’ve heard about newspaper circulation declining over the last few years, inserts still reach approximately 50 million households on a weekly basis. That’s not a number to sniff at.

The most advantageous aspect of advertising with these inserts is that they drive consumers to take action. For example, a survey conducted by MORI research found that 70% of consumers “regularly” or “occasionally” read newspaper inserts, while 60% of consumers clipped coupons from newspaper inserts and 50% purchased a product as a result of an ad.

Newspaper Inserts Bridge the Online and Offline Divide

4 Reasons Newspaper Inserts Are Highly Effective in the Digital AgeIs advertising with inserts an “old school” approach? Undoubtedly. But this “old school” offline tactic supports mobile commerce and ecommerce spending trends. A survey conducted by Valassis found that within 30 days of viewing a newspaper insert, 30% of people went online to get more information.

Newspaper inserts are also incredibly effective for retailers who want to drive foot traffic into their brick and mortar stores. In fact, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal has broken the good news that newspaper inserts drove more retail shoppers than digital ads and are, without a doubt, the most powerful drive-to-retail media available to marketers.

4 Reasons to Include Newspaper Inserts Into Your Marketing Mix

As you’ve just read, newspaper inserts generate a high response from consumers who seek these marketing messages during their shopping routine. Here are four more reasons why including inserts into your multi-channel marketing strategy can bring you a return on your investment.

  1. Lasting Power
    The thing with digital ads is they are fleeting. They’re there one second and gone the next. But newspapers have real lasting power and tend to stick around in consumers’ homes longer than most other media. This means people spend more time interacting with inserts and browsing deals and offers.

  2. You Can’t Beat Sunday Shoppers
    Getting your inserts into the Sunday paper is like getting your kid into Harvard: You can expect good things from it. Sunday is considered “shopping” day for many consumers. This is the day people actively seek out the inserts so they can plan their weekly shopping schedule. Can you imagine having consumers actively seek out your ads?

  3. A Massive Audience
    Don’t believe all of the hype about print being dead. Statistics clearly show that newspapers still reach a very large audience. In fact, according to data from the Newspaper Association of America, 83% of adults regularly or occasionally read a newspaper while 56% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 read the newspaper either in print or online.

  4. Consumers Adore Anything That Makes Their Life Easier
    You’re a consumer. Don’t you tend to love anything that makes your life easier? Well, newspaper inserts save consumers time and money. Consumers rely on inserts when researching offers on products they are planning on buying and they enjoy browsing to discover even more ways they can save.


Newspaper inserts continue to be one of the most influential marketing channels with the power to affect consumers’ buying choices. Inserts help consumers find what they need at an affordable price while increasing brand awareness. If you haven’t incorporated inserts into your
multi-channel marketing mix, now’s the time.

Free eBook: How to Target Your Audience with Free Standing Inserts

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Topics: newspaper inserts

6 Factors That Affect Magazine Advertising Rates

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 @ 09:48 AM

When it comes to magazine advertising, there are a wide range of pricing options. Much of that is dependent on whether it’s a local magazine, which costs less, as opposed to a national magazine that has millions of subscribers and will charge far more.

6 Factors That Affect Magazine Advertising RatesLet’s take a look at some of the things that factor into magazine advertising rates.

Size

One of the biggest and most obvious factors in cost will be the size of your ad. Unless you’re dealing with a magazine that has no interest in making money, larger ads are going to cost more than smaller ads. Ads are typically sold as fractions of a page. Full-page and half-page ads are exactly how they sound. Quarter-page ads may be horizontal or vertical.

When looking at the rate card you will see production values that identify the size in inches as well as by fraction of a page, and you will notice an obvious pricing difference between local and national publishers. A national sporting magazine may charge $250,000 for a full-page ad while a local niche magazine may only charge $10,000 for a full-page ad.

Frequency

Here’s something we make sure all our clients understand: magazines will charge less per ad if you commit to running ads in more than one issue. So a one-time ad may cost you $3,000 while that same ad, if run in five issues, might only cost you $1,800. Understand that you will have to sign a contract and be obligated to pay for all five issues, or a total of $9,000.

You should also be aware that some magazines charge a set-up fee so, if on the fourth running of that ad you decide you want to change your header, you might be charged for it.

Regional Rates6 Factors That Affect Magazine Advertising Rates

You may sometimes be able to run your ad in the regional edition of a national publication and pay less because the regional edition has less subscribers than the national edition. But if you’re a small local business you have no need for national exposure anyway. The cost will be a flat rate for your region and will be adjusted accordingly based on size of your ad, color, and the number of subscribers in that region.

Color

It goes without saying that color ads cost more than standard black and white ads, but then again, color has a way of popping and drawing the reader’s eye to the ad, so you usually get what you pay for.

Positioning

Another big factor of magazine rates is where your ad is placed. Do you want it to go inside the front cover, inside the back cover or on the back cover itself? Keep in mind these are prime advertising spaces. Also know that advertising toward the front of the magazine will typically cost more than advertising toward the back, for obvious reasons (with the exception of the back cover which, as we mentioned, is a prime location that will cost you a pretty penny.)

Negotiate

The most important thing to understand about rate cards is that what you see is similar to rates that are posted for hotel and motel rooms. In other words, prices are always negotiable. Typically speaking, smaller magazines will be the ones who give you bigger discounts. For instance, a small regional magazine may be willing to give you extra issues at no charge if you commit to a run of half-page ads for six issues. To view a magazine’s rate card, simply look for it on their website and speak to a sales representative about pricing options and discounts.

Magazine advertising can greatly benefit your business because it allows you to display higher quality images than newspaper or direct mail. These images make it easy for you to give readers a clear view of your product. Besides this benefit, magazines also make it incredibly easy to target specific niche demographics so you’re much more likely to reach your intended audience.

If at any point you feel overwhelmed by magazine advertising rates, turn to a trusted media buyer who can handle and negotiate your deals for you and generally get you better pricing and a better return on your investment.

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

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Topics: magazine advertising

8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 10:55 AM

If you’re a small local business, you know the challenge of getting your brand message out there on a tight budget. The key to making your ad spend go farther is to make your newspaper ads work harder. Scratch that, the key to newspaper advertising success is to make your ads work smarter.

Here are eight newspaper advertising ideas for local businesses:

1. Advertise Like David, Not Goliath8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

So many small local businesses have ad envy; they want the budget to be able to place those huge, flashy, full page ads like their bigger competition. Stop obsessing over the size of your ad. David brought Goliath down and he didn’t do it with a huge boulder; he did it with one tiny rock.

You’d be surprised how effective multiple small ads can be as compared to one or two large ones. So, think about running four quarter page ads instead of one full-page ad, or even a few 3 column by 8 inch ads, then check your sales results. Don’t be surprised if sales have gone up.

As a side note, consumers tend to assume large ads are placed by large companies, and small ads by small companies. Since there has been a consumer shift and people are more likely to want to support their local merchants, you might be better off placing smaller ads, at least for starters.

2. Speak in Terms of Benefits

You’re paying for every single letter in your newspaper ad, so don’t throw your money away by printing your product or service features. No one really cares. Instead focus on telling your prospects what benefits you offer.

3. Keep It Simple

A clean and simple format and layout is always best. Continue this same format throughout all of your ads for brand consistency.

4. Use Thin Line or No Line Borders

Many local business owners make the mistake of selecting an ornate border to use around their ads with the (false) belief it will make their ad pop. Typically these borders just eat up expensive real estate and do little else. Go for either a thin line border or a white border which will make your ad stand out while keeping it classy.

5. Stick with One Font

The last thing you want is for your ad to come across as busy and unprofessional so select one font and use it all throughout the ad. Your logo may use another font, but keep the rest of your ad uniform.

6. Don’t Screw Up Your Headline

Spend as much time as you have to create a strong headline. What makes a strong headline? It draws the reader in, gains their full attention, and gets them to read the rest of the ad. How do you do this? By telling people exactly how your offer will improve their life.

8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

7. Don’t Assume Your Graphics Will Do the Heavy Lifting

When it comes to newspaper advertising, words sell and art supports your sales pitch. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your entire ad will be an image with one tiny little tag line. Text is powerful in print.

8. Show Your Product or Service Being Used

And speaking of images… include images of your product being used and enjoyed. No one wants to see a boring old image of your storefront. Can we please let those images rest in peace? If you sell pizza, show people eating your delicious pizza. People want to see images they can place themselves in.

Newspaper advertising can be an incredible way to reach your market and generate sales. Just remember to use these eight ideas to increase the effectiveness of your ads.

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

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Topics: newspaper advertising

5 Steps to Effective Media Planning

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

In this ever-cluttered marketplace, many advertisers are making a critical mistake. They focus too heavily on budget when developing their campaigns and completely neglect something far more important: their media plan. For your campaigns to be successful and your messages to make the right impact, much thought should be given to the markets you serve and the channels you choose for delivery.

Here are five steps to effective media planning:

1. Define Your Goal

What is the goal of your particular campaign? Is it to extend your brand awareness? To announce a new product line? Promote a sale? Get people to sign up for your webinar or newsletter? Each of your ad campaigns must be assigned just one specific goal. You can’t plan media without a goal in mind.

2. Determine Your Ideal Prospect5 Steps to Effective Media Planning

Before you can begin to brainstorm potential media channels, you’ve first got to determine, if you don’t know already, who your ideal prospect is. Start by looking at your current customer base. Who buys from you and why do they buy from you? Which customers bring you the most business? Chances are other people like these customers would also buy from you.

Another great resource is your competition. Who are they targeting? Who’s currently buying from them? The key is to NOT target the same people, rather look for a niche market your competitors are overlooking.

And finally, analyze your own products or services with a focus on the benefits. Once you know what your benefits are, you’ll know who your product may benefit. For example, your pizza shop delivers until 10PM when everyone else stops delivering by 8PM. Your service will benefit college kids and adults getting home late from night classes.

3. Conduct the Necessary Research

Once you know your target market you’ll need to conduct the necessary research so you can determine the best channels to reach prospects. What are the most trusted media outlets in your industry? What are your prospects’ interests? How do they get their news? Which social media platforms do they prefer?

You’ll also want to review all the publications and digital channels you are considering to ascertain potential cost. For example, how large of an ad will you need to stand out in your local paper? Can you make a big impact with a half page ad, or will you need to bring out the big guns and buy a full-page full-color ad?

5 Steps to Effective Media Planning4. Plan Ahead for the Greatest Value

Planning your media buys well in advance will ultimately help you get better value because it will allow you to sign contracts ahead of time. Doing so offers three main cost benefits:

  1. By signing frequency agreements you can often obtain discounted rates.
  2. You can usually sign contracts and be able to lock in present year rates which will extend through the following year.
  3. Signing contracts well in advance allows you to negotiate with digital publishers and print sales reps.

Be sure to inquire about premium positions which go fast and go early.

5. Get Some Help

At any point during your media planning if you feel overwhelmed, your best bet is to seek help from a reputable media buyer. Working with a media buyer offers multiple benefits.

For starters, they generally have various programs to fit a variety of advertising goals and budgets.

Secondly, media buyers are specialists who make it their business to be efficient in market and data analysis as well as understanding the performance of all channels from outdoor to print and mobile. Media buyers also have longstanding relationships with publishers and vendors so they can effectively work on your behalf.

And finally, media buyers are able to negotiate and get the best prices for their clients because they bring so much business to vendors and sales reps. Beyond better terms and rates, buyers can often negotiate bonus media space and extended contract times.

When it comes down to it, media planning is the backbone of your entire brand message. The stronger that backbone is, the harder your campaigns will work for you, and the bigger your bottom line will be.

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Image credit: "The Assembly" by Linda Goldstein is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Topics: media planning

6 Advantages of Print Advertising

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 10:24 AM

We are a society of technologically-obsessed people who aren’t comfortable unless we are constantly connected via some sort of digital device. And, because the entire world has moved online, some in the advertising industry would have you believe print advertising is dead and buried.

But this simply isn’t true.

Print is still very much alive. In fact, advertisers who make print a part of their marketing mix have the potential to significantly increase their response rates. Here are just six advantages of print advertising.

1. Leveraged Credibility6 Advantages of Print Advertising

Print publications that consistently offer readers high-quality, reliable content develop credibility, and advertisers can easily leverage this credibility. Known as the “halo effect,” brands who place ads in respected print publications receive the same positive feelings from readers that are associated with the publication itself. This means your ads can be seen as completely trustworthy, which makes generating leads and sales much easier.

2. “Influentials” Are Swayed by Print

An MRI Survey of the American Consumer found that “influentials,” those consumers who have the ability to sway other consumers, are influenced by print ads, with 51% being influenced by magazines and 53% influenced by newspapers.

3. Print Readers Have Bigger Attention Spans

The digital age has pretty much killed the human attention span. We surf the web with six different tabs open while someone is instant messaging us, another is texting us, and “The Walking Dead” is on the TV in the background. We’re simply not as receptive to all of the digital advertising happening around us.

Print readers, on the other hand, don’t typically multitask when they read a magazine or newspaper, making them far more receptive to the ads within the publication.

6 Advantages of Print Advertising4. Unplugging Is In

We touched upon the fact that we are tech-obsessed creatures, but we are tech-obsessed creatures who have begun to understand the value of “unplugging” every now and then. When we do unplug from the digital world, we tend to turn to print media as a form of entertainment and engagement.

5. Print Ads Offer More Flexibility and Options

Print ads allow you to target your audience. You can choose exactly which section of the newspaper or magazine your audience is most likely to read. You can choose to run ads in specialty magazines or only in papers that deliver to specific geographic locations in your area. You can choose to have your ads run in Wednesday’s paper or Sunday’s paper.

Beyond these options, print allows you to tailor your campaigns to fit your budget by offering quarter-page, half-page and full-page ads. And finally, advertising in print publications mean you’ll actually work with a human being when buying your ad space as opposed to relying on an online algorithm to decide where your ads should live.

6. Print Ads Drive Action

The Nielson Global Trust reported that 65% of print readers typically take some form of action after viewing a newspaper ad. For example, people who viewed an advertisement from a national grocery chain were six times more likely to buy the product than the retail average.

As we mentioned at the beginning, when print and digital advertising work synergistically, results can be dramatic. The use of QR codes and other interactive features within print ads has helped to create a bridge between the print-digital divide. Ads that include free download offers or social media URLs encourage prospects to engage with brands online and inevitably help to drive more traffic and create awareness.

Successful ad campaigns reach targeted markets, effectively communicate a message, and drive action. By embracing the many advantages of print advertising and adding it to their marketing mix, advertisers can leverage the power of both print and digital to create the most awareness and revenue possible.

Free eBook: The Benefits of Print Advertising

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Image credit: "Unplug Electrical Devices You're Not Using" by trenttsd is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Topics: print advertising

10 Proven Local Advertising Ideas for Businesses

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 09:37 AM

Many small, local businesses often feel like the underdog when it comes to advertising because of their limited budgets. But local businesses can absolutely have an advantage over regional or national brands because their market area is A) clearly defined and B) manageable.

Here are 10 proven local advertising ideas for businesses that will help widen your market reach no matter what your budget.

1. Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers, particularly local newspapers, remain the most trusted source of information among consumers. Your local paper is a cost-effective channel for you to reach your audience. Many local papers offer special advertising features beyond box ads and inserts that showcase particular businesses. This is a powerful advertising opportunity. Find out if your local area has special interest newspapers as these may be delivered to the exact audience your trying to reach.

2. Local Magazine Advertising10 Proven Local Advertising Ideas for Businesses

Local magazines are available in every state across the country, as are niche magazines, and these channels have the ability to target a very specific population, namely, locals and hobby enthusiasts. These dedicated consumers are passionate, and if you can get your ad in front of them, you have an excellent chance at creating brand awareness and loyalty.

3. Cable TV Advertising

You may not have the budget to advertise your business during the Super Bowl, but so what? You can still reach your local market while they’re watching their favorite programs. Cable TV companies offer advertising rates that most small businesses can afford. Your ad may run on the TV guide listings or a real estate channel or anywhere in between. There are a variety of cost-effective options depending on your industry and market so speak to a sales rep and see what they can do for you.

4. Local Radio Advertising

Broadcast radio continues to be a leading source of entertainment and information across demographics in this country. This highly-targeted media channel drives engagement and action, and costs less to advertise on than you may think.

5. Local Website Advertising

One simple way to ensure all your advertising bases are covered is to list your company on all the websites that provide business information for your local area. Think Chamber of Commerce and your various municipalities.

10 Proven Local Advertising Ideas for Businesses6. Attend a Trade Show

You may be assuming trade shows are too expensive for you to attend. While the big trade shows can be quite pricey, there are plenty of smaller shows – hosted by a business association or particular industry - that are affordable and can help you get your name and products out there.

7. Claim Your Local Digital Assets

Online guides such as Yelp and Yahoo! Local help consumers find local businesses, restaurants, and retailers. If you haven’t claimed your listing on these sites, you’re turning business away. Most basic listings with these sites are free and you can always upgrade or create sponsored ads.

8. Submit Press Releases

It’s surprising how few local businesses submit press releases to their local newspapers and business magazines because it can be incredibly effective. The key is to make sure you submit a story and not a blatant advertisement. You may want to announce that you have won an award, hired new staff members, are hosting an open house, or are expanding your business somehow. Just remember share don’t sell.

9. Joining Professional or Business Organizations

Every professional or business organization offers its members exclusive advertising deals. This could be free advertising on their website or advertising in a special section of the newspaper. Plus, being a member is a good reflection on your business – a win/win.

10. Email Newsletters

Did you know 80% of your future profits will most likely come from 20% of your existing customers? Isn’t this a staggering realization? Like most small, local business owners, you may be spending most of your time and ad budget on trying to acquire new customers when you should be spending time treating your current customers like kings and queens.

One cost-effective way to engage current customers is through email newsletters. If you own a gardening supply store, you could send a newsletter once or twice a month to your customers offering garden tips and information they would find helpful and relevant. Then, every once in a while, you can send a promotion, say a printable coupon they can bring into the store to receive 30% off.

These 10 advertising ideas are easy and affordable ways you can promote your business. The best thing to do is choose several of these and start experimenting. Remember, like any kind of advertising you do, these ideas will be most effective if you plan your advertising campaign first and then track your results.

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Image credit: "Tradeshow Floor Greenbuild 2010" by Charles & Hudson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Topics: local advertising

The Top 5 Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Trends Taking Shape in 2015

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 09, 2015 @ 09:47 AM

As human beings we spend a good portion of our day out of the home. As we go from place to place we are exposed to all manner of media, much of it now of the digital variety. In fact, on average we interact with digital out-of-home media (DOOH) for about 14 minutes each week. Is it any wonder investments in digital out-of-home advertising are expected to grow significantly by the year 2017?

What is driving this growth? Consumers. Consumers are now looking for an engaging, emotional, and captivating medium. We as hyper-connected individuals are looking for memorable experiences that we can share, and the urban environment is an optimal landscape for these interactions to occur.

Here are the top five digital out-of-home advertising trends taking shape in 2015:

Location-Targeted Advertising is Growing

According to BIA/Kelsey, advertisers spent $1.4 billion on location-targeted mobile campaigns in 2012. This figure is expected to rise to $10.8 billion by 2017. DOOH is benefiting greatly from this rapidly growing segment. By using the same big data to reach mobile consumers, yet on much larger, higher impact screens, advertisers are able to create cross-screen, location-based campaigns that have even more impact on consumers outside the home.

The Top 5 Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Trends Taking Shape in 2015Programmatic solutions are evolving in DOOH which make finding scale and ease of buying a reality. Also evolving are 1st and 3rd party data sets that allow buyers and sellers to better specify consumers exposed to DOOH media. Sellers benefit by maximizing revenue through digital inventory control, and buyers benefit from the hyper-targeted capabilities.

DOOH Provides Highly Relevant Messages in Precise Locations

New types of targeting and subsets have made it easier to reach specific audience segments in ideal locations. And that’s a good thing because consumers are far more likely to be impacted by messaging outside the home. In fact, a recent study by YuMe and IPG Media Lab found that consumers are 41% more receptive to advertising experienced in public spaces than at home. As consumers, the devices we carry around with us create a natural visual bridge to the outside world we experience. Relevant DOOH advertising can enhance that visual experience through existing screens around public spaces.

Unique Creatives Reach Unique Audiences

There is almost no experience that isn’t being created in the DOOH space. We are now seeing highly creative advertising that combines live experiences and augmented reality, using everything from vehicles to street furniture. This is building brand awareness and driving impressive results for advertisers.

DOOH can reach unique audiences and create serendipitous parallels between messaging and location via locally-focused campaigns or larger cross-media tactics. Best of all, digital out-of-home advertising is now able to drive immediate impact and scale close to point of purchase.

The Top 5 Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Trends Taking Shape in 2015Cross-Platform Targeting Allows for More Personalized Experiences

As mobile technology becomes more advanced and mobile devices more ubiquitous, cross-platform targeting opportunities with out-of-home digital screens are more common. Newer technologies like NFC, beacons, and geofencing capabilities allow today’s advertisers to personalize their prospect’s experience and allow immediate engagement.

DOOH Campaign Success Is Now Easily Verified

There are more advanced measurement opportunities now than ever before. Evolving location and mobile data sets are offering marketers new ways of measuring attribution in OOH media. What DOOH advertisers now recognize is that, as an audience definer, location is just as important to them as it is to mobile advertisers.

Successful campaigns no longer try to simply mimic online models. These campaigns are developed around the idea that location is the best context and they deliver real-world messages that are close to point of purchase. A consumer’s exposure to DOOH messaging can be verified more easily, improving advertisers’ confidence in their ability to isolate the impact of DOOH from other channels in the integrated media mix.

The last half of 2015 is expected to continue pace with the number of digitally connected screens increasing as well as the inventory and creative options in DOOH. If you haven’t considered this channel yet, now may be the right time.

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Image credit: "Edmonton's First Digital Billboard?" by Mack Male is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Topics: digital advertising, out-of-home advertising

Hate Wasting Money on Print Advertising? Avoid These 8 Mistakes

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 02, 2015 @ 12:44 PM

Digital marketing is like Marcia Brady – it gets all of the attention while print marketing – the Jan Brady of the group – sits in the shadows. But Jan, we mean print, has a lot to offer businesses of all sizes. In fact, 76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy would incorporate both print and digital communication.

If you’ve tried to incorporate print into your media mix but haven’t gotten the desired ROI, you might be making one (or God forbid more) of these eight mistakes.

1. Not Defining Your Target AudiencePrint Advertising - Target Audience

This is actually the biggest mistake in print and digital, and if you get this step wrong or overlook it completely, none of your other tactics will work no matter how well executed. If you fail to define your target audience, how will you be able to craft the right message? Getting a return on your investment means knowing exactly who your market is, what they need, and how you can best present your solution.

2. Neglecting Brand Consistency

Each of your print marketing campaigns will and should have a specific goal, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect your overall brand consistency. Each aspect of your marketing plan must be consistent when it comes to brand identity. Being instantly recognizable takes out any guesswork and allows your audience to make the connections between what they are seeing now and what they’ve seen in the past.

3. Using Less Than Quality Materials

Small business owners are always looking for ways to save money, but printing on less than quality materials isn’t the way to do it. If your collateral looks cheap, your brand looks cheap. If you have the choice between printing your own collateral and using a professional printing company that can offer high-quality products, always go with the pros.

4. Ignoring Your Repeat Customers

So many marketers make the mistake of putting all their advertising dollars and efforts into drumming up new business, when the reality is, 80% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers. You cannot afford to ignore these people. While direct mail campaigns or radio spots designed to bring in new customers are an important part of a marketing plan, never forget to build loyalty among existing customers through promotional gifts or rewards programs.

5. Forgetting to Edit and ProofHate Wasting Money on Print Advertising? Avoid These 8 Mistakes

Before any campaign is fully rolled out you must be sure to edit for message and proof for errors. Scrutinize every facet of your promotional materials or print ad and consider whether or not it is contributing to your overall message. Then, proofread extensively to find any possible errors. You don’t want to print 10,000 copies of a brochure or have your ad show up in the Sunday paper with glaring errors.

6. Selling Product Features Instead of Benefits

You may think the features of your product are exemplary and no doubt they are, but your prospect will buy for emotional reasons. Features are facts, and facts don’t get an emotional response from the reader. For instance, “Our cleaner uses patent-pending secret enzymes” is a feature of your product. What your potential buyer really wants to know is the benefit, or what’s in it for them, “Our cleaner kills any pet odors in your house so you’re not embarrassed when company comes over.” Always try to hit those emotional buttons.

7. Don’t Make It Hard for People to Order

You want your print ad or collateral to make it as easy as possible for you to get the sale. Don’t try and save money by only printing your web address. If a prospect wants to connect with you immediately with questions, they should be able to pick up the phone and call you.

Making them go to your website first to get your number is one too many steps and you’re likely to lose sales. Always include your full contact details and let prospects decide how they want to communicate and place an order.

8. Sending Prospects to Your Homepage

Always list a URL address to a landing page. If you send people to your homepage they are likely to browse, get lost, lose enthusiasm, and click out. But a landing page is specifically designed to keep the prospect’s interest focused on your ad’s sales message. It continues the print conversation into the digital world. And make sure your landing pages have a strong call-to-action. In other words, tell your prospect exactly what to do (AKA close the sale).

If you’ve been wasting money on your print advertising chances are you have been making one or more of the above mistakes. When you make the necessary corrections, you’ll be surprised how quickly your ROI can improve.

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Image credit: Nic McPhee

Topics: print advertising

Choosing the Right Digital Media Buyer for Your Business

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, May 26, 2015 @ 01:36 PM

Because digital technologies are constantly evolving, it’s easy for marketers to find themselves overwhelmed and confused when creating and launching their online campaigns. At these times they may wonder if it makes sense to seek professional help from a digital media buyer. The answer is a resounding yes.

Digital media buyers can save you a lot of time and money (and heartaches) and get the biggest return on your investment. Great media buyers will go beyond these benefits and create a digital strategy that meets your needs so you can focus on other important tasks that will help you grow your business.

But with new digital media buyers popping up online every month, how can you be certain you will choose the best one? Below are some tips to help you make the right decision.

Your Digital Media Partner Must Be Willing and Able to Tailor Their Buys

Never hire a media buyer who believes in a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. Your digital partner must be willing and able to take the time to sit down with you, understand your business, objectives, brand personality, budget, and target audience and tailor a marketing strategy that fits your specific requirements.

Your digital media partner should be as flexible and resourceful as you need them to be and should, without prodding from you, have the analytical wherewithal to keep your campaigns on target.

Do They Have a Proven Track Record?

What you really want at the end of the day is peace of mind. You want to know the company you’re giving your dollars to and putting your trust in has a proven track record of successful campaigns.

Choosing the Right Digital Media Buyer for Your BusinessAt your first meeting your prospective media partner should offer a client list, case studies, testimonials, and references. Don’t take any of these at face value. Put some time into researching and call some of their clients to see if they are satisfied with the work being done on their behalf.

Also, pay special attention to the industries they’ve worked in and the kinds of campaigns they’ve run to ensure they’ll be a good fit. Did they face any particular challenges with past clients that are some you are currently facing? Can they operate on a scale that fits your business? Who exactly will be handling your media buys and what is their particular track record? Do they have real experience or are they a newbie?

Does Their Expertise Fit Your Needs?

Once you’ve established they have a proven track record and their other clients seem very satisfied, you’ll want to get a feel for their exact expertise. They may say they have experience across the board, but chances are they really excel in one or two channels.

Make sure their expertise fits your particular needs. For instance, it doesn’t matter if they excel in pay per click (PPC) if you have no interest using that channel to deliver your message, or if their biggest successes have come from banner ad placement if your budget only allows for search traffic.

Of course, they most likely will (and should) have a great bit of experience across many channels, but you want to make sure your needs and their strengths are aligned. Also, ask if they handle all campaigns in-house or if they outsource any of the work.Choosing the Right Digital Media Buyer for Your Business

Will They Force You into a Long-Term Contract?

You’ll want to test the waters before you sign on the dotted line with any buyer, so make sure your potential partner will work on a project by project basis so you can see if they are a good fit. If they try and lock you into some kind of expensive retainer, walk away. That setup is old school and unnecessary in today’s marketing climate.

Are They Keeping Up with the Latest Tech Innovations?

One of the main reasons you’re seeking help from a professional media buyer is because you simply don’t have the time or wherewithal to keep up with all the fast-paced tech trends and innovations. Your digital media buyer should know the latest tech innovations and have a sense of whether incorporating some of them into your marketing mix would bring genuine benefits to your business.

A great digital media buyer can be one of the biggest assets to your company. If you do your homework and take your time making a decision, you should be able to select a partner who is more than capable of devising strategies that deliver a profitable ROI and keep you two steps ahead of the competition.

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Topics: media buying

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