What's on Tap...
A brew of marketing and advertising news for your insatiable knowledge palette

How to Start Winning at Local Search

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 @ 08:00 AM


In some ways, digital technology makes running a small business simpler. For example, accounting software helps us save on outsourcing payroll and taxes, and apps allow to take payments from customers right on our smartphones.

But in other ways, the ever-evolving digital landscape has made small business marketing a bit confusing at times. I mean, just when we all thought we fiiiiiiinally had regular ol’ SEO (Search Engine Optimization) down, along comes local search.

What the heck is local search anyway and why does it matter for your business?

You’ve probably noticed when you do a Google search on your desktop or mobile device that Google will offer a search option with the words “near me” included. That is local search and the results returned will automatically be narrowed to include only those in your local area.

For example, if you search for “flower arrangements near me” Google will return the florists in your area and typically include a map so you can see exactly how far they are from you.

If you’re a brick-and-mortar establishment that only caters to local clientele, then you’ve GOT to make sure your online presence is optimized for local search. Getting into Google’s top local search results can significantly boost your business and your bottom line.

If you’ve been losing at the game of local search (or haven’t even stepped onto the field) here are some ways you can start winning.

Leverage Those Directory Sites

Directories, also called listing sites, contain organized information about companies, websites, and individual people. These sites can be big like Yelp and Merchant Circle, or more of a niche site like Lawyers.com, which is obviously just for and about lawyers.

The point here is, if you don’t take control of those listings and fill in the information yourself, the sites will do it FOR you, and they may not get it right. These sites typically pull your company name, address and phone number from any source they find, including government records. If you’ve made any changes (like your mailing address is now different from your store’s physical address) Google will be confused and your search results will take a beating.

So, make sure all of the information on these directories is up to date and accurate.

Get Liked

Hands up and thumbs raised against white background.jpeg

Google likes business that have several online reviews. Because they trust these businesses more, they give them a higher ranking in the search results. Getting positive reviews doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes all it takes is simply asking for them.

Optimize Your Content

At this point in time you no doubt understand the benefit of content marketing and know that Google loves fresh, relevant content. But what will really push you up in the local search rankings is optimizing your content.

For example, if you are an HVAC company in Baton Rouge, you might write a blog post about getting your air conditioner ready for a scorching summer in “Baton Rouge.” If you are a mechanic in Burlington, Vermont, why not write a post about the best winter tires for icy roads in “Burlington, Vermont.” Besides making sure to get your location in that content, it should go without saying that the content itself should educate, be helpful and engaging.

For the Love of God, Please Just Go Mobile Already

If you have yet to create a mobile version of your website…

Just do it already. Tools like bmobilized.com and dudamobile.com can get you a mobile website in minutes for under $10.

These stats should help convince you why going mobile is critical to your business.

Become Educated

Local search is the most volatile segment of search. While Google is getting better at rolling out changes, they still come quickly and are usually full of bugs to start. Always set time aside to keep up with the latest changes. If your budget allows, hire a media planner who will help you create and launch successful local SEO campaigns, and show you how combining these with print can blast your revenue through the roof.

If you implement these strategies you will maximize your visibility to become a bona-fide local search winner.

Local search is growing to be more and more important. Right now, a local search on a mobile device displays a first page of three results, also known as the Google 3 pack. Those three companies are going to reap the benefits of new clients the fastest. Want to see how your business is doing in local search? Then try our Free SEO Report Card by clicking here.


Topics: optimization, directory sites, local search

What This Year’s Oscars SNAFU Can Teach Us About Marketing

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 @ 09:00 AM


Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you’ve no doubt heard about the fiasco that took place at the Oscars. In what is being called “the greatest flub in Academy Awards telecast history,” best film was accidentally awarded to “La La Land.”

Eventually the producers of the show recognized the flub and re-awarded the Oscar to the film “Moonlight,” but not before La La Land’s producers had already given some teary acceptance speeches.

Talk about awkward.

While Warren Beatty and the accountants at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the firm that has overseen the Academy's ballot-counting process for 83 years, continue to point the fingers at one another, the rest of us can learn a thing or two about marketing from the awards fiasco.

1. Check and Double Check Before Launching Your Campaign

It goes without saying that before those envelopes get sealed, the names on the card inside had better be checked, rechecked and rechecked once more before awards night.

Before you launch your campaign, you had also better check, recheck and recheck once more to make sure you have done the following:

  • Chosen the right target audience – you can’t create a relevant and effective message unless and until you know exactly who you are creating it for.
  • Developed a strong ad – Is your headline attention-grabbing? Are you using the right visuals? Is your ad copy crowded or can the ad breathe? Does the ad create desire? Is everything spelled correctly? Do you include a phone number or URL so you can be contacted? Is there a call-to-action?
  • Selected the right channels – You know your target audience and have developed a strong, relevant message. Now how will you deliver it? Social media? Print? Direct mail? TV or radio spot? Make sure you know how your audience likes to consume information and how/when they are most receptive to it.

2. Ask for Help

Apparently, a redundant card had been included in the “BEST FILM” envelope. The card announced Emma Stone as the winner for “BEST LEAD ACTRESS” in La La Land. Emma had, in fact, won moments earlier in the “BEST ACTRESS” category. When Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, presenters of the “BEST FILM” award, saw the card, they were confused, made an assumption (making an ass out of everyone) and simply read the name of the film on the card “La La Land.”

What they should have done is ask for help from the producers of the show. Yes, there would have been an awkward pause, but that awkwardness would have been minimal. As it turned out. A large number of people experienced unnecessary confusion and heartache they didn’t need to experience.

Why put yourself through unnecessary frustration by developing and launching a marketing campaign entirely alone? If your budget allows, it’s always best to seek the guidance of a professional media buyer, who can help you plan your campaign and get the best deals when it comes time to negotiate contracts.

3. Adjust Quickly if Necessary

Why did it take the producers of the Academy Awards so freaking long to recognize a mistake had been made? 10 or 15 whole minutes went by, people from “Team La La” had already begun giving their speeches, emotionally thanking everyone and no doubt debating in their minds whether the award should live prominently on their fireplace mantel or causally on a shelf in their office. This viewer feels the mistake should have been caught much quicker. If it had, there would have been less emotional and psychological bloodshed.

Beyond planning and negotiating on your behalf, a media buyer is responsible for garnering insights and making necessary adjustments that will help optimize your campaign. If your budget doesn’t allow you to use a media buyer, then you will be responsible for setting up a tracking system. How will you know if your campaign has been effective or not? Before you launch you must select the metrics you will use to track your campaign. Those metrics can be anything like page views, phone calls, newsletter signups, click-through rate, and of course, sales.


While the viewing public can get a kick out of an awards show faux pas, there is nothing funny about sinking time and money into advertising campaigns that simply don’t deliver. Let’s all learn something from this year’s Oscar flub and ensure all of our campaigns are always legitimate winners. .cede)��@� $

Topics: content marketing

6 Old School Advertising Techniques Today’s Entrepreneurs Should be Leveraging

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Mar 08, 2017 @ 01:06 PM

When it comes to advertising techniques, digital technology has continued to evolve and offer (read: inundate us with) a plethora of effective tools. But, more often than not, these new, shiny techniques draw focus and attention away from traditional techniques that have been working for more than 100 years.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get ahead of the competition, don’t forget to use some (or all) of the following old school advertising techniques.

  1. Phone Calls

Startups must spend a good chunk of time and money on acquiring new business. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t spend any time or money on keeping the business they already have. Retaining current customers builds your bottom line and these loyal fans act as brand ambassadors – stirring up new business on your behalf by word-of-mouth and social media testimonials.

Picking up the phone and reaching out to customers is a highly-effective way of keeping your happy customers happy and fixing whatever it is that makes some customers not-so-happy. Making a dozen or so calls each month is a great way to retain business.

  1. Direct Mail

No one really gets or reads snail mail anymore. People choose to go paperless and have their utility bills and mortgages automatically paid each month. And why write a letter when you can stay in touch with friends and family via email or Facebook updates?

But the thing is, we all really love getting mail. There’s just something about opening that mailbox, reaching in, and pulling out something that piques our interest. Direct mail is finally starting to have its heyday because it finally has a chance to stand out and make a statement.

Consider sending out announcements about upcoming sales, or, better yet, coupons. Also, adding a personal note thanking customers for their business is always a nice touch.

  1. Print Ads

Whoever said print was dead was either lying or uninformed. Print is very much alive and well and should absolutely be a part of your integrated campaigns. Print can be incredibly effective at reaching baby boomers and higher-income consumers. And, if your product or service speaks directly to a particular audience, you will most likely find a magazine who caters to your prospects.

Two smiling women lying on the floor are both reading a magazine.jpeg

  1. Email Marketing

Email marketing has taken a backseat since social media marketing became all the rage. While organizing subscriber lists and creating content that is highly-relevant to each segment takes time, this channel can be a large source of your business.


  1. Networking

Good Ol’-fashioned networking is the oldest form of marketing but still one of the most powerful ways to grow your business. Attending conferences will put you in touch with influencers, potential partners and clients, and existing clients as well. If you are not the outgoing type, find someone within your organization who is naturally social and charismatic who can represent you at these important meet-and-greets.

  1. Speaking Engagements

More than ever, what consumers are looking for is thought leadership. And, while there are numerous online channels for growing your reputation as an industry expert, there’s nothing quite like standing in front of an audience and sharing your knowledge in person. This not only shows you off as an expert on your subject but also helps to instantly form trust between prospects and your organization.

Sometimes being the hip, new, happening kid on the block means going against the herd mentality and kicking it old school. As an entrepreneur, if you incorporate some or all of these timeless advertising techniques into your strategy, you’ll have a much better chance of pulling ahead of the competition and building a loyal following.

Topics: advertising, networking, printadvertising, emailmarketing

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 MediaDownload 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.

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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.

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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.

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Topics: print advertising, Return on Investment