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

Determining the Right Media Mix for Newbies

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 @ 01:53 PM


Small business owners share one common goal: to employ highly-effective advertising that works within a limited (read: shoe-string) budget. The best way to achieve this goal is to get the right offer in front of the right audience at the right time. And the right way to do this is to use an optimum media mix.

But when it comes to determining the right mix of media, confusion generally abounds. How exactly do you integrate multiple channels to generate new sales and sustain customer value over time?

By following some specific guidelines.

  1. Understand Your Product or Service Value Proposition

Before you can determine what marketing mix is best you’ve got to understand the value proposition of your specific offer. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • How do you solve it?
  • What other solutions are currently in the marketplace that you must differentiate yourself from?
  1. Use Discretion When Allocating Your Marketing Budget

Many business owners spend most their time focusing on what channels to use. While mixing channels cohesively is a big part of a successful integrated campaign, you’ve got to think about budget allocation as well.

Use any historical benchmarks you may have collected to plan your budget. Analyze this data to determine whether or not certain channels helped you reach your campaign goals. This will help you plan your budget accordingly.

  1. Know Your Audience

You’ll never pick the right marketing mix if you don’t know who it is you’re trying to reach. Who is your target market? What kinds of media do they consume? How do they like to be reached? How do they NOT like to be reached? Are you a B2B or B2C company?

It’s important to create a generic profile of your ideal customer. Jot down the different personas you wish to reach, then research which channels will most effectively get the job done.

  1. Mix it Up

They don’t call it a marketing mix for nothing. Get out of your comfort zone and get creative when it comes time to choose your channels. Take a look at the research you did on your target market. Where is the best place to reach them? Online? At trade shows? In the newspaper? Via flyers or direct mailers?

The list of marketing tools you can use today is almost endless, so don’t just pick one method or channel. Think bigger and combine print ads with social media, flyers and coupons with TV ads. And finally, be certain your brand is cohesive across all channels so that your audience instantly recognizes you.

  1. Set Realistic and Measurable Goals

In order to determine if your integrated campaign has been successful, you’ve got to be able to set realistic and measurable goals. Don’t assume that after the first run of a print ad you’re going to have 30,000 prospects calling your store. That’s not realistic. But having 100 new prospects call after the third run and using a customized 1-800 number will do the trick.


In today’s global landscape, where brands must fight for consumer attention, marketers must be savvy and strategic in order to get their message heard. Using the right media mix will go a long, long way to reaching your marketing objectives in the coming year and beyond.


Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media Download our guide to hiring a media provider


Topics: newspaper, target audience, print media, marketing, Media Mix, marketing goals

5 Common Branding Mistakes That Will Kill Your Small Business

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

What is branding exactly? It’s the development of a public persona, one that causes an instant emotional connection within consumers. When you think of great branding, what comes to mind? Nike’s swoosh? Coca Cola’s red can and white lettering? Or maybe McDonald’s golden arches?

As a small business owner, you’ve probably dreamed of reaching such branding success. You’ve also most likely become instantly overwhelmed at the mere idea of taking on what can be an expensive and demanding initiative.

The good news is, effective branding is much easier and more cost-effective than you might think, provided you avoid the following 5 common mistakes.

  1. Being Shortsighted

You most likely know that having a strong brand is highly advantageous from a customer-relationship perspective. After all, the stronger your brand the more top of mind you become. For instance, when you think of buying shoes online, you immediately think of Zappos.


Did you know that branding is also valuable for SEO marketing? It’s no secret that Google prioritizes branded listings in its organic search results. They do this because branded websites are more likely to get the clicks. More clicks mean happier search engine users. Hence, don’t be shortsighted. Undertaking a branding initiative could lead to both awareness benefits and a boost in website traffic.

  1. Failing to Implement Branding Guidelines

Your branding efforts will be sabotaged by a lack of cohesiveness. This cohesiveness can only be reached by implementing branding guidelines. Doing so will allow your brand to be instantly recognized no matter which marketing channel you use. People recognize Coca Cola in their TV ads as well as their print ads and social media campaigns.16703717985_21f9c0cc6f_b.jpg

What should your guidelines include?

  • Logo
  • Brand colors
  • Taglines
  • Fonts and typography
  • The “voice” used in your branded materials
  • Imagery
  • Mascots or spokespeople

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of guidelines, these points are essential to getting you started.

  1. Not Keeping it Simple

Small businesses can learn a lot from Coca Cola when it comes to keeping their brand image simple. Take a look at how their logo has changed – or not changed – over the years. While the fonts have varied a bit since the soft drink giant launched in 1887, the logo in general has had the same look and feel over the last 127 years. Also worth mentioning is that look happens to be very clean and simple.

It may be tempting to “go all out” and add more variables when initiating your branding process. But, a logo with five colors and four different graphic elements will confuse your audience and overcomplicate things. Take a note from Coca Cola and keep things simple.

  1. Being Vague

I already mentioned the importance of keeping your brand image and logo clean and simple. But don’t confuse this will dull and vague. Your brand’s elements must reveal something about your company and its value proposition. Catchphrases like “Best-selling” “award-winning” or “new and improved” have been so overused, they no longer hold any meaning with consumers.

Focus on creating clear language, logos and imagery that highlight your company’s value proposition.

  1. Not Monitoring Your Brand’s Usage

Developing and launching your small business’s brand is only half of the branding equation. The other half is making sure you’re monitoring how others are using your brand image on your behalf. If you let this task slide, you risk publishing partners using your logo but with the wrong colors, or a review website using the wrong URL link. Or, worse, a competitor using a tagline that sounds strikingly similar.

While branding takes thought and comprehensive planning, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. As long as you avoid these 5 common mistakes, you should be able to develop a brand that is instantly recognizable and connects with your target audience.

Request a Free Local Media Analysis for Your Clients!

Topics: advertising, marketing, small business, branding

Five Common Mistakes CMOs Make When Running RTB Campaigns

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Fri, Feb 03, 2017 @ 11:26 AM

Real Time Bidding (RTB) has become a hot digital marketing trend over the last few years and for good reason. The technology has already proven its value to advertisers and publishers alike. Among other benefits, RTB offers pricing precision, increased value of remnant space, and the ability to gain audience insight.

However, the technology is still rather new and there are many pitfalls to avoid. By steering clear of the following 5 mistakes, your chances of succeeding with RTB increase exponentially.

1. Not Meeting Required Specifications

You wouldn’t use charcoal with a gas grill. You wouldn’t because you would have read the manual that specifically said, “DO NOT USE CHARCOAL WITH THIS GAS GRILL OR YOU MAY CAUSE IRREPERABLE DAMAGE.” In this case, you would have followed the required specifications.

But many advertisers are setting up their campaigns without the required specs, and these campaigns in turn are getting rejected. Specs may include banner size, type of file, or maximum weight allowed.

Be sure to always check the required specifications and follow them to a proverbial “T.” Fixing this one mistake will get you on the right track fast!

2. Using Inefficient Bidding Strategies

CMOs need to do their homework before running an RTB campaign so they don’t use the wrong bidding strategies. The first thing to do is consider what your campaign’s objectives are and where your prospects are placed in the sales funnel.

Once you know this you can think about which bidding model you should use. For instance, the cost-per-mille (CPM) model is designed to reach a specified CPM for a given activity. This can be very helpful when running retargeting campaigns because your target audience has been identified and all that is needed is the right price per impression.

The CPC model will optimize your cost-per-click, which is ideal for run-of-network (RON) campaigns. These campaigns are the digital equivalents to “Run-of-paper” campaigns, when you don’t choose where in the newspaper your ad will appear. In RON, your ad can appear anywhere in a wide collection of websites that belong to one advertising network. With the CPC model, an advanced algorithm is used to detect users who are likely to click on your ad.

The most important thing to remember about digital and RTB campaigns specifically is that nothing is ever static. That includes where your audience is placed in the sales funnel. To increase your campaign’s efficiency, your bidding strategy may need to combine the two bidding models or shift from one to the other as the campaign progresses.

3. Don’t Focus Solely on CTR

When it comes to online campaign metrics, click-through-rate (CTR) along with impressions have always been important indicators of success. But, you should not think of CTR as a holy grail. So someone clicks through to your landing page? Then what happens? Did they convert or not?

Conversion is the most important element when it comes to analyzing performance of display campaigns. If conversions aren’t being measured, how will you know what kind of return you’re getting on your investment?

For this reason, it is crucial for CMOs to implement lead tracking. This will allow you to look at clicks, conversion AND revenue at the same time to determine if your campaigns are effective or need to be adjusted.

4. Not Leveraging Targeting Opportunities

One of the biggest benefits of RTB technology is that it offers some major targeting opportunities. But many advertisers aren’t leveraging these. When setting up your campaigns, be sure to consider geo-targeting, demographic targeting, and time of day targeting.


 5. Going it Alone

As effective as it can be, RTB is a little bit of an art form and a little bit of science combined. It is so new and complex that many advertisers simply don’t understand how to utilize it properly. And, with all of their other responsibilities, they don’t have the time to test different theories and models.

A media buyer can help you to effectively spend and reach your audience at just the right time. They will also ensure you always follow required specifications so your campaigns are never rejected.

If you’ve been wanting to add RTB to your integrated campaigns but have been feeling overwhelmed, get in touch with us today. We’d love to get you setup with the right RTB model so you can reach your marketing objectives.



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

Topics: real-time bidding

Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

A new year has arrived and with it, the potential to reach more customers and earn more revenue. And thanks to technological advances and new channels emerging, digital offers some significant ROI if you know what you’re doing.

With this in mind, here are some of the biggest digital marketing mistakes to avoid in 2017:

Producing Content Without a Goal

You know how there are a lot of people on a gluten-free diet, but if you asked them what gluten is or why they think it’s bad, they wouldn’t be able to answer. They’re basically following a health trend without really knowing what that trend is all about.

Sadly, the same thing is happening in content marketing. Many brands are creating content because they know they should, but they don’t really grasp the reason why they should. And so they write a bunch of ineffective garbage that does little else than create more digital noise.

You must have a goal in mind when creating content. That goal could be to create brand recognition, get people interested in a specific product, or get prospects to sign up for your newsletter. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, it just matters that you have one and that you create content around it.

Having goals will not only make your content more effective, it will make sure your multi-channel campaigns feel unified and cohesive.

Using Social Media to Sell

This has always been one of the biggest digital no-no’s, and yet many organizations are still doing it, particularly those who have relied on traditional marketing. Offline, when new channels emerged, you could still use them to blatantly sell. First there was the newspaper and your ads sold your product or service. Then came radio and you could sell, then TV and, same thing, you could blatantly sell.

But digital has changed everything. Digital puts the power into the consumers’ hands. They will ignore your messaging easier than a moody teenager ignores his parent’s numerous requests to pull up his pants. Consumers no longer want to be sold to, they want brands to engage them and help them in some way. And one thing they absolutely won’t stand for is being sold to on social media.

Your goal with social media should be to create a following and then have a conversation with your audience. Use these conversations to gauge your audience’s needs, likes, fears, goals, etc. This is how social media was meant to be used and this is what will help propel your business in 2017.

Juggling Too Many Channels

No one says you have to have a presence on every single digital channel. In fact, that is marketing suicide. There is simply no way you can create enough engaging content and monitor all of the conversations.

The reality is, you only need to have a presence on those channels where your audience hangs out. If your audience doesn’t really use Pinterest or Instagram, then why on Earth would you waste any time there. If they use Facebook and LinkedIn, focus on those channels instead. Don’t spread yourself too thin, just learn who your audience is, what channels they prefer, and then create content that will live there.

2017 could potentially be a really big year for many brands. But unless you know exactly what you’re doing online and off, your campaigns may wind up being budget-sucking duds.

Need some help creating and delivering your messaging? Get in touch with us. We’d love to help your campaigns succeed this year.


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

Topics: digital marketing

5 Digital Marketing Traps That Are Killing Your Campaigns

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

Every CMO envisions creating successful marketing campaigns and being a hero around the office. Sadly, many make digital marketing mistakes that absolutely kill their campaign’s success.

If you want to taste glory instead of bitter failure, avoid these 5 common digital marketing traps at all costs:

Foregoing Authenticity for Cleverness

Let’s face it, it’s incredibly difficult to stand out amongst all the digital noise vying for consumer attention. One way to grab attention is to be creative in how you tell your brand story and present your offer. But creativity should never be confused with empty cleverness.

Even though there is a screen between your brand and a prospect, they can still smell fakeness and desperation from 2,000 digital miles away. Posers are outted quickly through social media, so be sure to always remain 100% authentic. Who are you? How can you help? Why is what you have to offer valuable?

Remember, the digital landscape has changed the marketing game, putting consumers in charge of the conversation. If your brand’s story is inauthentic, you’re going to be called out for it.

Creating Stellar Content and Then Not Promoting ItCreating Stellar Content and Not Promoting It

Content marketing has taken focus over the past decade, with more brands spending more advertising dollars on creating top-notch digital content that engages their audience. The problem is, creating outstanding content is not enough. There is no “Build it and they will come,” when it comes to the digital landscape.

By all means, allocate resources to the creating of amazing content, but be sure to save some of that time and budget to actually promote your efforts.

Not Focusing on Trust and Transparency

At the end of the day, consumers give their hard-earned money to brands that have earned their trust.

It’s important that you take this into consideration when developing your digital campaigns. Don’t create flashy campaigns that show off how great you are – no one really cares how great you are. People want transparency. They want to know who the people are behind the company. They want to know you give a damn.

When creating your campaigns, make choices based on your audiences’ fears and questions. Put their minds at ease about your company and your product and watch those wallets open.

Not Understanding the Medium

Many of our clients have been relying on traditional channels like newspapers and magazines for many years. And while there is no doubt print media is completely effective at reaching target audiences, integrative marketing is crucial for long-term success.

What works in print will not necessarily work in digital and vice versa. Heck, what works on television may not even work online. For instance, many brands make the mistake of taking their 30 second TV spot and uploading it as an “online video.” But the mediums, and the audiences, are different beasts.

If you are new to digital and unsure of how to create campaigns that will jive with native audiences, we recommend working with a media buyer who can help you navigate the landscape.

Having Too Many Digital Balls in the AirHaving Too Many Digital Balls in the Air

There is a myth surrounding digital marketing that says you MUST have a presence on every single digital channel. This is false and ludicrous. A brand can’t possibly create and publish quality content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and their own blog on a consistent basis.

The only channels that matter are the ones your prospects use. You may find great success only managing your blog and a LinkedIn page while someone else may find success with Facebook and Instagram.

To thine own audience be true, so be sure to fully understand your buyer persona, what kind of content they like to consume and where they hang out.

There’s no doubt that digital marketing is a crucial component to overall marketing success. If you avoid these 5 common mistakes, your campaigns will reap the rewards in the coming year.

If you could use some help with your digital marketing, get in touch with us today.

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

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The WHY and HOW of Marketing to Baby Boomers

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 06, 2016 @ 01:34 PM

Today’s marketers seem infatuated, perhaps even a little obsessed with Millennials. And, when you read studies, like the one done by Accenture that reports Millennials spend roughly $600 billion annually, you understand why companies like Coca Cola and Uber make marketing to this demographic their primary focus.

However, in their mad dash to woo one demographic, marketers frequently ignore another: Baby boomers. And this is a mistake – a big one.

In fact, according to Baby Boomer Magazine, roughly 40% of all consumers are baby boomers. That’s nearly half of the people spending money to buy stuff that gets completely ignored! Marketers that ignore this segment of the population are leaving a lot of money on the table.

WHY Target Baby Boomers?WHY Target Baby Boomers?

If you imagine a baby boomer as someone who only drinks Sanka while watching Matlock reruns, you’re not imaging right. Baby boomers, the 60 and up crowd, are hipper and savvier than older generations who came before. But why target them?

First, baby boomers watch television and read the newspaper more frequently than any other group of consumers, and are also becoming increasingly internet savvy, so it is incredibly easy to reach them with your message.

But the real reason to target this group is that they have disposable income. In fact, baby boomers as a group are quite affluent. According to a Nielsen report, this demographic makes up 70% of the nation’s disposable income. On top of this, baby boomers are expected to inherit $13 trillion (that’s with a “T”) in the next 20 years. The bottom line is they have money to spend. They know they have earned the right to invest in themselves and their passions and hobbies and are ready to pay top dollar on travel, recreation and other leisure activities.

HOW to Market to Baby Boomers

Now that you know WHY you should focus your marketing efforts on this demographic, let’s talk about some important points to remember when creating your campaigns.

Baby Boomers Use Social Media ... But DifferentlyBaby Boomers Use Social Media … But Differently

It is a misconception that baby boomers aren’t involved in social media – they most certainly are. But you will find them using certain channels more than others. While a 23-year-old may use Snapchat or Instagram to post photos or videos of their wild night out, baby boomers tend to stick to Facebook and Youtube to post images and videos of their new grandbaby or the lake cottage they just purchased.

So, when developing your campaign, don’t leave out social media but do research to understand exactly which channels your audience uses.

Baby Boomers Grew Up Reading Text

While Millennials may break a sweat if asked to read more than 140 characters, baby boomers grew up reading full ad copy. Reading is a hobby many boomers enjoy, so don’t make the mistake of using shorthand text and acronyms like “GPS” or “24/7/365” – they simply won’t be welcomed by this group.

When developing your ads, keep it old school and lean toward a more text-heavy message. Boomers tend to like to see everything spelled out in print and they don’t like messages that are cute and clever. So, spend more time on creating straightforward messages that list all of your benefits.

Nurture Your Relationship

Boomers are more responsive to traditional marketing channels but that doesn’t mean they’re easier to market to. Quite the opposite. They don’t make decisions lightly. Being retired with no kids to raise, they have time on their hands to mull things over. Remember this if you’ve been focusing your efforts thus far on millennials who are all about “now” and “on-demand” and “instant.”

Boomers also need to build trust with a brand before they will buy.

What does this mean for your campaigns? It means you need to commit to a longer sales journey and continue to nurture the relationship the entire way. Sure, these sales might take longer, but they will lead to brand loyalty.

If you’ve been ignoring boomers, now is the time to give them some love. After all, doesn’t it make sense to focus on people who actually have disposable income and are easily reached through print advertising? Yes, yes it does. So switch gears this new year and develop some campaigns geared toward the over-60 gang.

Free eBook: The Benefits of Print Advertising  

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5 Reasons Your Print Campaigns are Failing Miserably

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 @ 02:44 PM

Let’s start off by discussing a harsh reality: most print campaigns fail miserably; not because print is dead – it is very much alive – but because marketers often make the same old mistakes that lead to wasted spend and little to no ROI.

If your print campaigns are not bringing in customers, chances are you’re making one or more of the following mistakes.

Here are 5 reasons your print campaigns are failing miserably:

Reason 1: You're Not Targeting Your AudienceReason 1: You’re Not Targeting Your Audience

No matter how big, colorful, or clever your ads are, if you’re not targeting the right people, you won’t get a response. Why spend more to get your ad placed in the local news section, when your audience tosses that section aside and goes straight for the sports section? The more refined your strategy is, and by that I mean it focuses dollars on people who are actually qualified to purchase from you, the less you’ll have to spend and the more return you’ll see.

When targeting prospects, think beyond gender, age and geography and drill down into their interests, hobbies, education level and income.

Reason 2: You Crafted the Wrong Message for Your Audience

What’s the point of targeting the right people if you are going to deliver the wrong message? Once you know exactly who is your most likely prospect and why your offer solves their problem, be sure to craft a message that clearly articulates your value. When brainstorming the creative, always keep your customer persona in mind and craft a message that speaks to their needs and wants.

Reason 3: Your Ads Persuade No One

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to focus on creating ads that inform the reader. Why is this bad? Because informing is not the same thing as persuading. How do you persuade the reader? By sharing benefits not features. The features of your product or service are information; information no one cares about but you. Who cares if your widget is made from alloy? Your prospect just wants to know that your widgets will never rust.

So, telling them about the allow is information that will not get them to take action. But telling them your widgets can be left outside in the harshest weather for 20 years and will NEVER rust will persuade them to hand over their cash.

Reason 4: You Didn’t Include a Call-to-Action

And speaking of being persuasive, nothing is more persuasive than telling the reader exactly what to do. Don’t spend time targeting the right people and crafting the perfect message that clearly outlines benefits if you’re not going to ask for the sale. Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do: visit your website, bring in a coupon, call your sales rep, or like you on Facebook.

Reason 5: You Never Defined Realistic MetricsReason 5: You NEver Defined Realistic Metrics

While the end goal for any business is to earn revenue, there are steps that must be taken to get to your final destination such as brand recognition, improved consumer interaction, or an increased social following. Unless you select success metrics carefully before you launch, you may think your campaign failed miserably when it didn’t.

For instance, your print campaign may have driven a ton of new traffic to your website. The fact that not as many visitors converted may have more to do with not targeting the right people or promoting a landing page that has yet to be optimized. Be sure to fully recognize your campaign’s goals (HINT: your call-to-action should ask readers to do what your ultimate goal is) and carefully define your success metrics so you will realistically know whether your campaign failed or worked in a way you weren’t intending.

There’s no reason you shouldn’t hit a homerun every time one of your campaigns steps up to bat. Take a realistic look at your past few campaigns to see if you’ve been making these common mistakes. If so, make some adjustments and see if your ROI doesn’t increase exponentially.

Request a Free Local Media Analysis for Your Clients!

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Why Direct Mail Beats Email and How You Can Make It Work for You

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

Ever since digital technology came onto the scene, the myths about print marketing began swirling. But those myths – the ones that claim all print channels are dead – are just that, myths.

The truth is, print marketing is very much alive and well. Direct marketing in particular has been enhanced by web technologies and works synergistically to get leads to visit a webpage to collect information from prospects.

But, too many marketers are relying on digital channels alone, ignoring the data that clearly indicates consumers want to be engaged via multiple formats. A better approach is to engage your prospects everywhere they are. This includes in there living rooms or kitchens with a direct mail piece.

Make no mistake, with the increased saturation of digital marketing, direct mail response rates are higher than ever. Here are four reasons why you should consider using direct mail in the new year:

People are Overwhelmed by Emails

How many emails would you say you get a day? 10? 30? 100 or more? The truth is, most people open, let alone read, very few of the daily emails they receive. While it used to be fun to hear, “You got mail,” many of us now dread checking our email fearing we will be instantly overwhelmed by all the news, updates, and solicitations awaiting us.

What does this mean for email marketers? It means big budgets wasted on sales messages that never get read.

But, going to our physical mailboxes and pulling out the few pieces of mail, especially when none of those pieces are bills, is an enjoyable and welcomed experience nowadays, which means your sales message has a much better chance of being read.

People Trust Print MorePeople Trust Print More

In some ways, technological advances have made consumers’ lives easier, but in many others way, technology has made them vulnerable to privacy risks. With so many reports of hacking in the news, people are becoming more and more fearful of digital communications.

Direct mail is simply not faced with these same privacy issues, and hence, people fear secure opening your mail.

Direct Mail Offers More Creative Options

Human beings look for visual signals throughout their daily lives that help them know how to react to things. When people look through their mail they watch for thick envelopes that may hold treasures, colorful envelopes that seem like the letter is from family or friends, or actual handwriting on the envelope instead of a typed label.

You don’t get these same creative options in email marketing. You have one shot – the subject line – to grab someone’s attention. But direct mail offers many more creative options that will help get your message noticed.

Now that you know why direct mail marketing is beneficial, let’s look at some of the best practices so you can ensure you get the optimum ROI on your next campaign.

Use PersonalizationUse Personalization

Consumers today demand personalized communication, so if you want your direct mail campaigns to be successful, you need to analyze your customer data. By mining information from your CRM and automation platform, you will be able to narrow your segments and personalize each offer and message.

Leverage the Power of Integrated Campaigns

It’s important to make direct mail a part of your overall marketing campaign and integrate it with your other channels. Always send multiple waves of personalized offers through direct mail and make sure your branding and messaging is consistent across your print and digital channels.

Measure Outcomes

How will you know if your direct mail campaign was a success? What does that look like to your business? You’ve got to determine this before you launch any campaign.

Be sure to forecast KPIs and set up your direct mail programs in a way that makes it easy to track results. To determine the ROI of your direct mail campaign, consider using metrics such as cost per mailing, response and conversions rates, and average revenue per buyer.

If you’ve heard that no one is using direct mail any more, you’ve heard wrong. Direct mail is an extremely effective channel and, in many ways, outperforms email campaigns. To be successful with direct marketing, just be sure to focus on personalizing your messaging, integrating your campaigns, and tracking your results.

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

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Topics: email marketing, direct mail

5 Things That Will Give Your Billboard Ad Maximum Impact

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 08, 2016 @ 11:49 AM

As the digital marketing landscape evolves and technology advances at a quickening pace, OOH campaigns continue to offer advertisers big ROI. Billboard ads in particular act as terrific physical markers allowing thousands, and even tens of thousands, of people to interact with your brand on a daily basis. When designed well, billboards will get your message across in a memorable way.

Here are 5 things that will give your billboard maximum Impact.

Visual EngagementVisual Engagement

Consumers who are driving or walking around their towns and cities only have a few seconds to interact with your billboard before moving on. For this reason, it must be visually engaging so people remember your brand’s message.

Effective billboards are ones that offer surprising visual elements and shock value that leave a lasting impression. When thinking of what it is you want to say, focus on elevating the mundane and making it extraordinary. You might want to consider using different shapes and 3D elements into your design.

Here are some powerful billboard examples that leave lasting impressions.


You know the old adage that in order to convey your message you should KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. While this is true for most advertising formats, it’s particularly true for billboards because you have only seconds to get your point across to drivers and pedestrians.

It’s better to rely on impactful visuals and colors instead of words. When words must be used, be sure to keep text short and sweet. The less words you use the bigger you can make them.

Having said this, sometimes a text-only billboard can be incredibly effective. Who doesn’t remember the famous “Got milk?” campaigns. These two words in white set against a plain black background were highly impactful. When using words as your main visual, be sure to select the right colors and typography.

Create a Strong Call-to-Action

All good ads have one thing in common: they facilitate conversions. Billboard ads should be no different. You’ve got to plant a suggestion into your audience’s mind so they TAKE ACTION after seeing your ad.

Chick-fil-A does this with their slogan “Eat More Chikin.” When hungry drivers see that message, then see a Chick-fil-A at the next exit, they’re apt to go and ‘eat more chikin.”

When creating your billboard ad, think of how to lead people to immediate engagement, or if that’s not possible, how to create suspense or curiosity so people will visit your web site or social media pages later.

Use Your Billboard to Prove a Point

All consumers require proof before taking action, so use your ad to prove a point. This can be done in an emotional way or in a literal way.

For example, here’s a very effective billboard in New Zealand that gets its point across by using actual rain to signal to drivers how dangerous driving conditions can be in the rain.  

Think about your product’s function and prove it. Taking a second look at some visually engaging ads, notice the duct tape ad that looks as though the tape is holding the billboard up. The company is proving a point: Their tape is so strong it can actually hold this big billboard up.

Stay Consistent

It’s easy to think of your billboard ad as a standalone piece, but it’s important to remember its design should fit into your larger marketing puzzle. Is your messaging consistent with your overall marketing strategy? Does it match in tone and style other ads of yours on other channels? Consistency among your different advertising outlets is as important as the actual advertisements themselves.

As the holidays approach, billboards will be a great way to grab the attention of shoppers as they rush home with their treasures. Just make sure you’re taking full advantage of this potential by following these 5 tips to create impactful ads.

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

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The Biggest Digital Marketing Trends for 2017

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 01, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

2016 is almost over, which means it’s time to reflect on your marketing campaigns to determine what worked and what didn’t. It’s also time to think about upcoming digital marketing trends for 2017 so you can begin planning your marketing budgets for the first quarter.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the upcoming trends that are likely to shape digital marketing in the coming year.

More Companies Will Invest in Social AnalyticsMore companies will invest in social analytics

While some can’t remember a time before social media, the truth is, it’s still in its infancy. There are still great opportunities that will be presented by social media in the coming years.

But to fully leverage social media, you’ve got to collect data from your channels and analyze it. Currently, 70% of companies still are not doing this. But this is expected to change in 2017, as more CMOs, who are being held accountable more than ever before, focus their budgets and efforts on social campaigns.

Video Will Skyrocket

2016 was coined by industry experts as “The Year of Video Marketing,” and the use of video by marketers is expected to increase over the coming years. Statistics point to increased adoption of video marketing by businesses of all sizes as well as an increase in overall success rates of marketing campaigns. Consider these:

  • According to a report published by Forrester, including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate.
  • According to ComScore, 45.4% of users viewed at least one video online over the course of one month.
  • Unbounce reports that including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
  • YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year.
  • According to ComScore, the average user spends over 16 minutes watching online video ads every month.
  • Forrester researcher Dr. James McQuivey estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.
  • According to Online Publishers Association, 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.
  • 65% of U.S. marketers plan to increase their mobile ad budgets to account for video according to eMarketer.
  • 87% of online marketers use video content according to Outbrain.

Source: Insivia.com

If you haven’t incorporated video into your campaigns yet, it’s time to get on board. Those marketers who focus some of their budget on video will be set to outpace the competition by delivering relevant and highly-engaging ads to their audience.

Cross-Device Communication

Marketing is challenging enough in this new digital landscape, but it’s about to get a bit more difficult. Consider that the average consumer is now connected through five addressable devices. This certainly offers marketing opportunities, but also marketing challenges. In the coming year, marketers will not only have to engage consumers but also track any actions they take across multiple devices.

Plan for more wearablesPlan for More Wearables

In 2016, 72% of the US population owned a smartphone. While smartphones won’t become obsolete anytime soon, they will be outpaced rather quickly. Wearables are giving smartphones a run for their money, and industry experts predict that by 2018, the global wearables market will reach $19 billion.  What does this mean for marketers in 2017? They need to start planning to produce and distribute content to fit that specific format so they can continue to target their audience.

Hiring the Right Talent

We know that big data is a game changer in media planning and other industries. Analyzing this data will require a certain skillset. It will no longer be enough to hire team members who specialize in web design or app development, CMOs will now have to ensure they have talent with technical acumen in order to leverage the data and technologies to reach their customers effectively and efficiently.

2017 will be like many new years before it: there will be new opportunities and new challenges. The marketers who will come out at the end of the year unscathed and in the black will be the ones who continue to look forward and embrace the changes as they come.

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

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