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Jenna Bruce

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5 Must-Dos for Local Marketing Success

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 08:55 AM

Would you be surprised to hear that 62% of phone calls made to small businesses go unanswered? And by unanswered I don’t mean they go to voicemail, I mean they just keep ringing and ringing and ringing. Only 38% of calls actually get forwarded to voicemail. Perhaps the most shocking number is that 70% of small businesses answer less than half of the calls they receive!

This data was shared at a recent webinar called “5 Fabulous Habits of Small Business Champions” held in conjunction with National Small Business Week 2017 that was sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE, and YP (Yellow Pages).

“If you don’t answer your phone, you don’t deserve to have those customers,” webinar co-presenter Rieva Lesonsky said. “You are showing on your phone behavior, what kind of service (your customers) are going to get.”

Cheerful man in office answering the phone.jpeg

The webinar presenters shared some other insights benefitting small business owners. Here are 5 Must-Dos for Local Marketing Success

  1. Be Consistent

A brand is only as recognizable as the consistency of their marketing message. This is particularly true of businesses who use an integrated marketing approach with multiple channels.

Equally important is the accuracy of the information you share. Being inaccurate can and will raise skepticism, tarnish your brand’s reputation, and drive customers away.

  1. Tell Your Story at Every Opportunity

You can either be a company that’s trying to sell stuff, or a brand that has a story they want to share. One is much more powerful than the other.

The most important part of great brand stories is knowing exactly who your audience is and the best way to reach them. Whether it’s through the copy on your home page, the images shared on Instagram, or the how-to videos on Youtube, take every opportunity to share your story and connect with your audience.

  1. Be Clear

Many marketers work so hard at selling but fail to tell prospects what they want them to do. It’s important you use clear calls to action on your landing pages, as well as print and digital ads. Also, keep your design elements clean and simple. Make it easy for people to learn about your offer and decide they want to buy.

  1. Answer Your Phone

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, a shocking number of local business owners aren’t even picking up the phone (or forwarding the calls) when it rings. Are you guilty of this? Perhaps your local competitors aren’t taking the time to field phone calls. What a great way to attract their business and build relationships and brand loyalty.

  1. Social Media Best Practices

When it comes to good social media habits for local businesses, the webinar presenters had the following key points to share:

  • Use Facebook photo albumsHappy young lady holding social icon balloon.jpeg
  • Use Facebook live videos
  • Tell an intriguing story
  • Power up your Twitter feed with images
  • Try paid media – it works!
  • Host a weekly or monthly challenge
  • Post offers and discounts
  • Share motivational quotes
  • Have conversations
  • Don’t use social media to hard sell

 

Many of the small business owners we work with have, at some point, expressed frustration at not having the resources their bigger competitors have. The truth is, when it comes to making an impact with your local audience and generating revenue, much of the marketing tactics, like the ones listed here, come down to common sense.

 

Free eBook: The Benefits of Print Advertising

Topics: local marketing, local, print, advertisers, social media advertising, branding

How Much Does Direct Mail Marketing Cost?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

Did you hear the news? Print is dead. Did you hear the other news? The idea of print being dead is completely bogus.

Data continuously shows that consumers respond favorably to direct mail. And here are some stats to back that up:

What do these numbers indicate? When done strategically, direct mail is a fantastic way to increase revenue for your business.

Before we discuss costs, let’s figure out which type of direct mail piece will be the most effective for your brand. While research from the Data and Marketing Association suggests that the response rate is typically highest for oversized envelopes (as opposed to, say, a letter-sized mailer), you’ll still want to determine what will work be best for your campaign goals.

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Which is right for you is going to depend on a few different things:

  1. What’s your budget? – Oversized mailers and catalogs are more expensive to design, print and ship (because they are heavier).
  2. What are you selling? – If you sell a more serious product, like insurance for instance, you most likely will want to send a traditional letter. If your offer is more fun, you can create a colorful and eye-catching postcard.
  3. Who is your campaign targeting? – If you’re nurturing past customers who already know what you’re about, you won’t need to give them so much information. A letter or postcard will do. If you’re targeting cold leads, you might need to send a bigger brochure so they can learn more about you.

If you’re interested in the more expensive direct mail pieces, it’s a good idea to do a test run on a smaller group so you can measure how well it converts before going wider with it.

Direct Mail Costs

Direct mail pieces can cost anywhere from 30 cents to more than $10 per person, depending on how much you spend on design, marketing copy, mailing lists, printing, and distribution. Some organizations do much of this inhouse and wind up only paying for printing and mailing.

Let’s break down these individual cost factors:

Design Costs ($0 – $100)

When it comes to designing your direct mail piece, you have a few different options:

  • DIY – If you only require something very basic, like a renewal letter, you should be able to create something suitable in Microsoft Word.
  • Use a template – You can find numerous online sites that sell templates that cost around $10 on average.
  • Hire a professional – If you need help in the creativity department, your best bet is to pay a professional print designer. You may use someone local in your area, or find a freelancer online on sites like UpWork.

Marketing Copy Costs ($0 – $100)

If you have a very small budget, you may have no other choice but to write your own marketing copy. However, if you have a bit to spend, we always suggest clients hire a professional copywriter. This copy has got to be persuasive and there is an art to getting it just right. Copywriters, good ones anyway, are trained to write content that hooks the reader and gets them to buy.

Mailing Lists Costs ($0 – $0.30 / record)

Free mailing lists can be had by either gathering data you already have on your current customers, or by doing a trade of your info with another business in your industry.

If neither of these options is possible, you’ll end up paying anywhere between .02-.30 cents per record. The cost will vary based on the quality of the data, how many records you buy, and how many times you can send to the list (make sure you’re clear on that last part).

Printing Costs ($0.03 – $2.00 / person)

Printing costs will vary based on the following:

  1. Black and white vs. color
  2. Paper quality
  3. Paper size
  4. 1 sided vs. 2 sided
  5. Number of pages
  6. Quantity

Visit any online printing business to find out exact printing costs for your campaign.

Distribution Costs ($0.25 – $2.00 / piece)

Of course, the final cost you will have to consider is mailing costs. Prices fluctuate and are dependent on the current postage rate, the amount of mail you send, and how much all of that mail weighs. Remember, the bigger the pieces, the heavier the order, and the more you’re going to pay.

Direct mail, if done right, is both an effective and cost-effective way to market your business.

Need help with your next direct mail campaign? Get in touch with us today. We’ll help you determine exactly which piece will work the best and help you get the best ROI no mater your budget.

Topics: advertising, print, print ads, direct mail

4 Ways Small Business Owners Can (Almost) Guarantee Their Success

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Starting a small business is akin to ice skating on mud – it’s really, really hard. Actually, to be more accurate, starting a small business is hard, but getting that business to grow and succeed is next to impossible, or so it seems.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly two-thirds of businesses survive their first 2 years in business, half of all businesses will survive about 5 years, and only one-third will survive 10 years. Those numbers can be intimidating.

So how can small business owners ensure they’re one of the “lucky” ones? While there are no guarantees in life, there are things small business owners can do to set themselves up for success.Small Business Strategy. Green Chalkboard on the Gray Concrete Wall in the Interior of a Modern Office with Hand Drawn Small Business Strategy. Business Concept with Doodle Style Elements. 3D..jpeg

  1. Start Your Business for the Right Reason

The most successful business owners created their business not to make money, but because they had a passion. They wanted to somehow solve a problem or provide an incredible service. Some want to do this while creating jobs in their local community.

If you start a business simply because you want to be your own boss and make a lot of money, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and heartache.

  1. Focus on Building and Maintaining Customer Relationships

No matter how great you think your product or service is, if your customers aren’t happy, they won’t stick around for very long. This is why it’s important for small business owners to focus on building and maintaining customer relationships.

How do you do that?

  1. Anticipate your customers’ needs
  2. Maintain contact (nurture the relationship)
  3. Be completely transparent

Your goal should always be to build a mutually-beneficial relationship with your customers. Spend some time educating them on your business and then focus on helping them achieve their goals.

  1. Invest in Technology

The businesses that succeed are the ones that leverage the power of technology to gain a competitive advantage. Small biz owners are expected to wear too many hats. They must be experts in finance, accounting and legal aspects of their business.

While you may not yet have the budget to hire in-house professionals, or even outsource to lawyers or accountants, you can invest in technology that will help you automate repeatable tasks and provide valuable insights into your business’ finances. Consider using solutions like CRM and recurring payment systems to help you succeed.

  1. When You Can Afford Help – Get Some

Far too many small business owners don’t recognize the point at which they should begin to hire more help. They are so used to doing everything themselves, they have a tremendously hard time letting go and handing the reigns over to other people.

But, just as a bodybuilder needs to lift more weight to grow muscles, business owners need to delegate more responsibilities to grow their business. The more tasks you can give others, the more you’ll be able to focus on ways to improve your products and customer relations.

One of the best ways to hand over the reins is to hire a professional media buyer who can help you develop and launch your advertising campaigns. Handling this task on your own for any length of time may result in poor ROI and ads that land with a thud.

Mediaspace Solutions has spent years working with small business owners, assisting them with their national, regional and local media buys. With newspaper and digital media buying as our specialties, we help small business owners get the ROI they need to be successful.

If you’d like hep with your advertising, get in touch with us today.

 

Topics: advertising, benefits of print, media planning, small business, marketing goals

Do Your Print Ads Grab Attention Fast Enough?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 08:40 AM

Do Your Print Ads Grab Attention Fast Enough?

These days, about the only thing getting shorter than people’s patience, is people’s attention span. And, as these attention spans shrink, marketers must find ways to use their advertising to hook customers quickly.

Just how miniscule is the current human attention span?

Consider that the ordinary gold fish, swimming around and around and around in his tiny bowl, has an attention span of only nine seconds. And he STILL has us beat! Recent studies have found the human attention span is only eight seconds. It seems that along with providing convenient communication and funny cat videos, modern technology is distracting us.

The TIME survey found some major differences with attention spans among generations. For instance, 77% of people aged 18 to 24 responded “yes” when asked, “When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone,” compared with only 10% of those over the age of 65.

According to an article in Bloomberg Magazine, generation Z, those under the age of 19, are even more distracted. “They multi-task across five screens: TV, phone, laptop, desktop and either a tablet or some handheld gaming device, spending 41 percent of their time outside of school with computers of some kind or another, compared to 22 percent 10 years ago. Because of that they ‘lack situational awareness, are oblivious to their surroundings and unable to give directions’.”

No doubt you heard about the injuries that were sustained by some young people who were so involved in the Pokeman Go app, that they walked into traffic, tumbled off of ocean bluffs, and were even been robbed. That’s how distracted they were!

But what does all of this mean for today’s marketers?

It means you not only have to create print ads that convert, you’ve got to create print ads that grab people’s attention in the first place!

Here are a few tips to help you do it:

Use Smart Design

The quicker your readers can get information, the better. Design your print ads so that the eyes can easily move from one element to the next. Make it easy for your prospects to make the decision they want to find out more about your offer.

To do this, leverage the power of the inverted pyramid. Make sure you put your most important information at the top (or in the forefront), then trickle down to the least important information.

To figure out which information should be included, answer six basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Make it Readable

Know what will make readers ignore your ad? If they feel they need to struggle to read it. Use clean type face that’s easy for the eyes to scan. Less is more in this scenario. The fewer words your prospect have to read the more quickly they’ll be able to determine if your offer relates to their needs.

Keep it Consistent 

When it comes to visual design, using the same fonts, colors and element styles will make it easy for your prospects to move through your ad because they won’t be forced to learn something new visually.

Make it Interactive and Engaging

People assume print ads and print collateral are boring compared to digital ads, but that does not have to be the case. Touch is one of the most satisfying sensory experiences, so use it to your advantage. Engage readers in this medium by using different textures, glosses or finishes that stand out and hold their attention.Two smiling women lying on the floor are both reading a magazine-1.jpeg

 

If you’ve been struggling to create print ads that capture and hold your prospects’ attention, we can help. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you design ads that make an impact on your audience and your bottom line!

 

 

Topics: magazines, magazine advertising, newspaper, local newspaper advertising, innovative print ads, creative print ads, print ads

10 Marketing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Business

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 @ 02:30 PM

Small business owners eat, sleep and breathe revenue. Much of their day is spent thinking of how to gain more customers and increase that bottom line. Far too often, however, they don’t give enough thought as to whether or not their marketing tactics are helping them reach these objectives.

In an effort to help you grow your business, here are 10 common marketing mistakes that have the potential to kill it:

  1. Trying to be Everywhere

There’s no denying an integrated marketing campaign has the power to reach the right audience at the right time to deliver just the right message. But trying to be in too many places at once is a recipe for disaster.

There’s no need to create 10 social media accounts or try to get into every local newspaper and magazine. You will never be able to do something meaningful on all of those channels, not even if you have a marketing department with dozens of staff working around the clock.

Instead of spreading yourself too thin, find out which channels will work on your behalf and focus only on those.

  1. Selling Too Soon

Selling and dating are pretty similar. Just as you wouldn’t (or at last shouldn’t) ask someone to move in with you on a first date, you also shouldn’t ask your prospect to buy from you right away. Most consumers need to be convinced they should part with their money. Nurture prospects all the way through the sales funnel by creating interest, offering value, educating and THEN closing the sale.

  1. Creating Dull Content

Are you creating content that you feel will really help and excite your audience, or are you creating content because you’ve been told you have to? If it’s the latter, chances are the content you’re putting out is pretty dull (and I’m being kind). Think about it from your prospects’ point of view: if this is the kind of content you create, how good can your product or service really be?

If you create content not because you should, but because you really want to help your customers, it will be easier to do and the results will blow your mind.

  1. Targeting a Demographic Instead of a Niche

Have you been attempting to market to a group that is too broadly defined? You’d have a much easier time roller skating backwards up a rusty ladder. Instead of marketing to a demographic, say young males between the ages of 18 – 35, figure out what niche you want to focus on. Learn more about these young men.

What are their hobbies? Where do they hang out? What are their fears and aspirations? What is their level of education? How much money do they make? Where do they live? How do they make buying decisions?

  1. Not Tracking or Measuring Results

Many business owners look to revenue to see if a marketing campaign is working or not. The problem with this method is you can’t determine which marketing channel or tactic is working exactly.

For best results, use key performance indicators (KPIs) to better understand if your efforts are paying off. Also, you should always tweak your tactics and measure those specific results.Keys to Success - Concept on Golden Keychain over Black Wooden Background. Closeup View, Selective Focus, 3D Render. Toned Image..jpeg

For example, if you changed the wording of an ad headline, measure the impact of those changes. If you changed the day of the week you sent your email, measure how that tweak impacted your open rates.

  1. Ignoring the Competition

The most successful businesses are the ones that study what their competitors are doing right and wrong. They know how these other businesses are marketing to their own customers, what mistakes they’ve made, and what works best for them. Then, they copy and adjust for their own campaigns.

  1. Having Crappy Landing Pages

Imagine being on a plane that’s about to land at its final destination. You look out the little window and see the landing strip is riddled with giant potholes and broken pieces of glass. You are of course horrified and hold on for what’s sure to be a bumpy landing.

Your landing page is also an important destination in your customers’ journey. You want their landing to be smooth and pleasant. A great landing page will help get you more email subscribers, followers, leads, and ultimately sales.

  1. Missing the Importance of Local Search

Local search connects customers who are actively looking for local products and services to the companies who are effectively promoting those products and services. If you’re ignoring local search, you’re missing out on revenue – big time.

  1. Not Asking for Customer Feedback

Most businesses owners fear bad reviews, yet they do very little to ensure they get positive reviews. The key is to be upfront and ask your fans for honest reviews, while learning how you can improve from any negative reviews you get.Business man pointing the text What Our Customers Are Saying.jpeg

  1. Failing to Work with the Right Media Buyer

Marketing is a skill that requires many hours (read years) of practice. In many ways, it is part science and part artform. Business owners simply don’t have the time to understand how every channel works and how to negotiate the best contracts with sales reps. By working with a media buyer, can dramatically help your campaigns perform better.

If you’re not currently working with a professional media buyer, there’s a good chance you’re wasting time and money on campaigns that underperform. Get in touch with us today. We’ll deliver the ROI you need to be successful.

Topics: integrate print and digital, media buyer, media planning, KPIs, ROI, Key Performance Indicators

PR Tips for SMBs

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

“There is only one thing worse in the world than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

~ Oscar Wild

Oscar and other famous people throughout history have eluded to the fact that there is no such thing as bad publicity. And while there may be some truth to that, the fact is, many SMB owners know firsthand that getting publicity can be incredibly challenging thanks to limited resources and staff.

Here are some of our favorite ways SMBs can leverage the power of PR and get their name in the news.

Tell Customer Stories

In many ways, a PR campaign is no different than other forms of advertising, and by that I mean you should always be customer-focused. Your message should never be about how great your products or services are, but how much they help the people in your local community.

Your brand’s story should be a curation of your customer’s stories. Contact some of your most loyal customers (AKA – your biggest fans) to find out how your business has helped them and how they personally use your product or service.

Once you speak with enough customers, you’ll get a sense of how they are interacting with your business and how your company is positively impacting your community. And, once you know this, you can contact some local journalists to see if someone might be interested in helping you share these stories.

Hijack the News

You may have heard the term “newsjacking” but weren’t exactly sure what it meant or how it could benefit your bottom line.

This approach entails keeping your eye on any breaking news that might be relevant to your business and then piggybacking on it to try and get your company into the story. This can be a powerful meth od to help SMBs break into the news cycle and expand their reach.

Hand with marker writing the word Trends-1.jpeg

Of course, as with most successes in life, timing is everything. With newsjacking, you’ve got to be able to move on a story right after it’s broken, when journalists are scrambling to get fresh perspectives and additional information.

For instance, a bakery in Dallas hopped onto the popular spinner trend and created a fidget spinner cookie that got the attention of top publications.

You may also want to hijack the news when you know it is about to break, as in the case of knowing an upcoming event or a report being released about your local economy.

You might be thinking you don’t have time to follow news cycles, but you can use something like Google alerts for key terms related to your industry, and updates will be emailed to you.

Tap into Thought Leadership

Local business owners have two big advantages: they know their industry, and they know what their customers want or need. You should be using this knowledge to your advantage.

Here’s a perfect example of what leveraging thought leadership might look like:

A small business PR strategy resulted in this Philly.com article that interviewed the owner of Body Cycle Studio in Philadelphia to discuss his favorite workout songs – plus he created a playlist. How much extra business do you think this article helped him get? Plenty.

At the end of the day, getting local press coverage will take some effort and commitment. Don’t feel discouraged if your first 10 pitches for stories get rejected – that’s simply the nature of the beast, as journalists get hundreds of pitches, sometimes in a single day.

But this is a numbers game. If you keep at it, you will eventually land in your local news cycle and your business will be rewarded handsomely for your efforts.

Topics: advertising, advertising strategy, public relations

4 Ways to Tank Your Social Media Campaigns

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Thu, Jun 01, 2017 @ 04:11 PM

Reaching and engaging customers via the proliferation of social media channels has become a huge priority for most businesses. And yet many of these companies create and post pointless, promoted posts, sharing information none of their customers really cares about.

The result: wasted ad spend on campaigns that fail to cut through the digital noise and drive action.

How do companies tank their social media campaigns over and over again? By making one or more of the following mistakes:

  1. Having No Strategy

It’s said you can’t get to your destination without a roadmap. You can, as long as you don’t know where you’re going.Business man pointing to transparent board with text What's your Online Marketing Strategy?.jpeg

While you don’t have to plan out every single tweet or Facebook post verbatim, you DO have to plan what content and events you are going to create content around.

You also must do a bit of research to determine which channels are the right ones for your business. Despite what you may think, you do not have to have a presence on every single social media channel. Trying to maintain myriad SM accounts will spread your marketing team too thin and waste precious resources.

 

Instead, determine WHO your customers are and WHERE they choose to get their information. If you’re a B2B company, you may find you only need to be on LinkedIn to get excellent reach. Other companies may find Facebook and Google+ work well, while others Instagram and Youtube.

  1. Not Acting Like a Human Being

If you’ve been focused on traditional advertising channels like newspapers and TV ads, you may stumble a bit when first using social media. That’s because traditional advertising incorporates one-way messaging. You talk – they listen.

But social media is a digital conversation. This means you have to be the HUMAN behind the company and engage with your customers, not sell to them all of the time. This will entail listening to their problems and offering real help, or just offering a smile in the form of a funny photo.

With social media, you want to throw a party, invite all of your prospects, and then be the life of your own party.

  1. Not Bothering to Automate

You probably already know this, but it bears repeating: social media marketing isn’t something you do once a month. It’s definitely a commitment of time, and since so many small business owners have very little time, the best thing they can do is prepare a chunk of content ahead of time, then load it all up into a robust automation tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. A set-it-and-forget-it approach will help you be consistent with posting.

Just be sure to spend a little time each week (or assign the task to someone else) responding to comments and answering any customer questions that may pop up.

  1. Not Bothering to Measure

How do you know if your social media campaigns have been successful if you don’t measure them?

Besides reach, one of the other main benefits of social media is it can be predictably analyzed. SM can be easily broken down into analytical definitions like retweets, replies, mentions, and engagement.

It’s important to set some realistic metrics for your campaign (150 retweets) before you launch, then see if you were successful or not. If not, tweak and refine your content strategy and check to make sure you chose the right channels and right time of day to reach your audience.

Social media can be a great addition to an integrated campaign, but if you want this channel to work for you, you’ve got to read this post one more time to ensure you don’t make any of these common mistakes.

Topics: online, social media, online advertising, social media engagement, integrate print and digital, Twitter, Facebook

3 Steps to Finding the Right Media Buyer for Your SMB

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, May 22, 2017 @ 02:09 PM

We’re often asked why a company should work with a media buyer when they can execute their own media buys. After all, media buyers are an added expense to a sometimes already-tight advertising budget.

Think of it this way: you can technically gut your home and renovate it yourself to save money, but you’ll often end up paying more for your mistakes and the results will not be nearly as good (or livable) had you worked with a reputable and qualified contractor.

Media buyers eat, sleep, and breathe media. They make it their business to understand advertising trends and channels, and have spent sometimes years building relationships with publishers and sales reps. All of this means they can negotiate the best contracts on your behalf and help you choose a strategy that will reap the biggest rewards.

If you’re tired of struggling with your media buys and would like to work with a professional buyer, here are 3 steps to find the right buyer for your SMB.

Step 1: Know What it is You Need

Each media buying agency is unique and offers different levels of service and expertise. Before you start meeting with prospective buyers, sit down with your team and determine what it is exactly that you need help with. If you determine you need help with just about everything, from planning to post launch, make sure your media buyer is able (and willing) to help you on all fronts.

Step 2: Ask the Right Questions

Eventually you’ll sit down with a few buyers to see who might be a good fit. When you do, be sure to ask the following:

Will they customize a plan for you? A one-size-fits-all solution won’t cut it in advertising, so be sure to ask if the media buyer is willing and able Orange Button with Customize on Black Computer Keyboard. Business Concept..jpegto customize a plan specifically with your goals and budget in mind.

What do they specialize in? If you know your target audience can be reached more easily via traditional channels like radio and print, then a buyer who specializes in digital media won’t be a big help to you or your budget. Find out whether the agency specializes in a particular area.

What’s their track record? Like any other service provider, it’s important that you know two things: 1) how long they’ve been in business and 2) what kind of successes they have had in the past.

While every media buyer is going to be new at some point, you want to make sure you work with someone who has at least a few years under their belt. You also want to know if they have a history of helping companies like yours with similar goals. Ask for references before signing on the dotted line.

Do they keep up with changes? The world of advertising is always shifting and evolving, and you’ll want someone who devotes time and energy to keeping up with new trends and technologies. Ask if there are any new trends or platforms they think might be useful to your organization’s goals.

Step 3: Communicate Effectively

A doctor can’t help you if you tell him, “I don’t know, I just kind of hurt all over.” You need to be as specific as you can be so he can prescribe the right tests and medication to correct your health issue.

Once you select your media buyer, it’s up to you to communicate with them in a way that they can ensure the health of your campaigns. Don’t be vague. Communicate as clearly as you can and use numbers if possible. Don’t say, “It doesn’t seem to be working.” Instead tell them, “We’ve only seen a 3% increase in foot traffic in the last week, “or, “Our online sales have remained consistent.”

A good media buyer will watch vigilantly over your campaigns. They will want to test and refine your campaigns to get the biggest ROI. But they need your help in diagnosing any issues or areas for potential improvement.

If you follow these three simple but necessary steps, you’ll be able to choose the right media buyer for you and nurture a lasting and mutually-beneficial relationship with them.

Do you need help with your campaigns? Want to work with a media buyer with experience helping local businesses get the right message in front of the right people? Get in touch with us.

Topics: integrated marketing plan, media buyer, media planning, media planning agency, partnership

How to Mix Media Like a Pro

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, May 15, 2017 @ 01:59 PM

Inlast week’s blogpost I talked about what media mixing is and why you should be doing it. This week, let’s dive into how to go about it.

Though I’ll break it down more as we go, the KEY to determining the right mix of media is to think about who it is you’re trying to reach and uncover how they like to get their information. There is NO sense spending money on the wrong channels and sending your message/offer where no one will pay attention to them.

It’s a Customer-Centric Strategy

When you start to think about whether you should use OOH, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, email, social media, or mobile, make sure you know which channels will be the best at getting your target audience’s attention.

Stop Asking the Wrong Questions

So often our clients will ask questions like, “Should we advertise on Facebook?” or “How much ad spend should we put toward inserts?” These are the wrong questions to ask. The most important questions to ask yourself before developing a mixed media campaign are:

  • Who is my target audience?Attractive woman thinking on grey background.jpeg
  • Where do they go to get information?
  • Where are they in your sales funnel?
  • What time of day are they most available to hear your message and take action?

Discovering these answers will make the difference between a campaign flop and a campaign homerun. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t want to use a channel because it’s the new media darling; you should use a channel because it will reach the right people at the right time with the right message.

Understand Human Behavior in General

While it is evident that consumer behavior can and does change over time, it doesn’t necessarily change that fast or that much.

Case in point: David Ogilvy made a name for himself as a master of print advertising during the heyday of radio and TV. While most people were touting the benefits of these newer, shiner channels, Ogilvy successfully launched print campaigns for brands like Dove, Rolls-Royce, and Shell, and he became a legend in the process.

The same trends are happening today. While social media and mobile are getting more and more attention, consumers have adopted these new trends slowly. Plenty of consumers still read print publications and use desktops.

The moral of the story is, always consider new trends that come along, but don’t neglect those prospects who are slower to adopt them. Reach out to them the “old fashioned” way and be handsomely rewarded.

Mind Your Business

When it comes to taking the advice of advertising experts – us included – you should take lessons with a grain of salt. Just because Moz publishes a case study about their latest success with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, doesn’t mean your company will be successful with SEO. Why? Because you most likely have a different target audience and different messaging.

By all means, take a look around to see what’s working for others – particularly your own competition – and listen to what the experts have to say, this will definitely expose you to possible channels and strategies.

But ALWAYS understand that your business is unique and what really matters is engaging your customers and prospects in a way that is effective.

Test

Focus groups and marketing gurus are helpful, in theory, but the only way to tell what media will work for your business is to test the waters. It’s always a good idea to use a 10% - 20% of your marketing budget to run exploratory campaigns to determine if a channel you suspect will be effective, will be. Never roll out a new mixed media campaign without testing small first. This is the only way to safely determine if a new media will capture your audience’s attention.

Understand the Rules

Once you’ve determined your target audience and which channels they prefer to receive information, you’ve got to clearly understand the rules of those selected channels. For instance, you don’t run a Facebook ad campaign in the same way you run a direct mail campaign, and vice versa.

Before you launch, study your channels and know how best to leverage each platform. Your ultimate goal is to adapt your messaging to what your audience expects on each different channel.

Embrace a Long Game Approach

You should think of each separate channel as your short game and your overall integrated multi-channel campaigns as your long game. Though delivering messaging across a range of channels is more effective, it takes time to select the right channels and strategies, test them, tweak them and roll them out. Remember - have patience. You won’t see results overnight.

If you follow these rules, you will see success. Just make sure your overall message and brand image is recognizable over all channels so your audience can recognize you.

Now get mixing.

Topics: advertising, integrated marketing, target audience, print ads, Media Mix, targeting

Media Mixing: It’s Easier Than You Think

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Fri, May 12, 2017 @ 09:31 AM

Digital technology and the Internet have changed how consumers get information. While in the past, most relied on one or two main channels for information gathering; today’s consumers rely on far more.

If you want to ensure you reach your target audience at the right time with the right messaging, you’ve got to employ the right media mix to do it. Despite what many marketers think, media mixing doesn’t have to be difficult.

What is It?

When I talk about media mixing, what do I mean exactly? In visual art, sometimes an artist will use mixed media such as paint, ink, and collage to get their vision and point across. Advertising, being a little bit science and a little bit art, can also mix medias (print, radio, social media, websites, email, direct mail, OOH) to get a brand message across. Combining these channels allows advertisers to communicate effectively to different prospects at different stages of the buying funnel.

Why Do It?human hand making a business word puzzle.jpeg

The question, “Why bother with media mixing?” can be simply answered: To get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time. A mix that might work for one audience might not for another.

For instance: Let’s say you want to reach a national audience. You might combine national newspapers with radio and television spots. This same mix will not necessarily work if you wanted to reach a specific niche, such as technical directors. In this instance, you may want to mix business magazines with content publishing on LinkedIn and direct mail.

As mentioned earlier, media mixing not only gets your offer in front of the right audience, but at the right time, ie at various stages of the buying cycle. Gaining access to your audience is only half the battle; you’ve still got to time your messaging just right.

At the beginning of any buying cycle, a prospect is simply looking for information about a product or service. They may use social media, consumer review websites, or even visit trade shows. It’s important you have information available in these places they choose to visit. You’re not trying to sell in this beginning buying stage, merely raise awareness about your brand.

In the next stage of the buying process, prospects may notice you and show an interest in what you have to offer. Once they’ve reach this stage, you can use a completely different mix of media to nurture them and move them farther down the sales funnel, ever close to making that final buying decision. Media at this stage might include email offers, videos, and print ads with included URLs or QR codes.

Make a Salad – Not a TV Dinner

The real effectiveness of media mixing lies in the ‘mixing’ or integration of channels. An integrated campaign ensures all of your components are working together to communicate a consistent message at every step of the buying journey. That means at any touch point consumers can instantly recognize your brand (logo, colors, language), your creative themes and your marketing messages.

No matter if a prospect sees an ad in the local paper, received a direct mail piece, sees a billboard, hears a radio spot, reads a Tweet, or views a Youtube video, they will recognize all of the communication is coming from the same source. And each channel supports and reinforces all the others, creating a robust and dynamic campaign that is sure to engage and convince your audience.

If up until this point you have stuck with one or two channels to reach your audience, it’s time to ‘mix’ things up (c’mon, I had to). In next week’s blog post, I will share a simple process for creating mixed media campaigns.

Topics: integrated marketing plan, integrate print and digital, integrated advertising campaign, Media Mix