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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

Five Things You’re Doing Wrong with Your Billboard Ads

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Apr 05, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

As new channels become available to marketers and integrative campaigns become even more complex (and CMOs become even more accountable for delivering big results), it becomes increasingly important to make every advertising dollar count.

Billboard advertising remains an incredibly effective way of reaching an audience and getting a nice return on your investment. That is, if you don’t screw it up.

Here are 5 things you’re doing wrong with your billboard ads:

  1. You’re Writing the Great American Novel

Your billboard should not read like a novel. It should be short and sweet, containing no more than six words. Remember, people will see your billboard when they’re driving, so they literally don’t have time to read much more than six words. When you only have a few seconds to get your message across, you’ve got to make sure that every word counts.

  1. You’re Using Your Billboard as a Direct Response Ad

We speak often on this blog about the impact direct response ads can have on your audience (and your bottom line), but billboards shouldn’t be used for that. Billboard ads are about creating interest and brand-building, but they should never be expected to do the heavy lifting. Save that for your print and TV ads. With this in mind, don’t cover your billboards with 1-800 numbers and website addresses. The only exception to this rule is if your website address or phone number is your main message/headline.

  1. You’re Being Cute and Clever

An uninspired billboard won’t get attention. A smart billboard, on the other hand, will grab attention and make a lasting impression. But a billboard that’s trying too hard to be clever or cute will get nothing but eye rolls or completely ignored.

Advertising is not about being clever or smarter than your audience, it’s about simple, clear and direct messaging.

  1. You Believe Less is More

Billboards are kind of like potato chips: eating one is okay, but eating more is better. Billboards are a mass market medium that require support.

Before making your buy, be sure to inquire about the billboard’s Gross Ratings Point (GRP). This number is based on traffic, visibility, location, size and so on. So if your billboard’s score is 50%, that means that roughly 50% of the populations in your local area would see your billboard each day. Having one billboard is okay, but having more billboards around town will get you as close to a 100% showing as possible.

  1. You Didn’t Test Your Ad First

All billboard ad campaigns look brilliant on a 27” monitor, but are you sure that information will translate and be seen and understood once it’s up on that board? It’s important to put each and every one of your ads up to the “Arm’s Length Test.” Here’s how you do it:

Print your ad to the size of a business card. Now hold it out at arm’s length. Does it hold up? Does it still have the same impact it did when it was on your big ol’ monitor? If yes, great. If no, time to refine your message until it can pass this test with flying colors. Remember, your message has got to pop, and you only have about 5 seconds to make an impression on motorists and pedestrians.

If you stop (or never start) making these 5 common billboard mistakes, you should begin to see amgreater impact on your audience and a better ROI.

Topics: advertising, advertising strategy, billboard

What Makes a Good Marketing Strategy?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 10:33 AM

What’s the main difference between a successful marketing campaign and an unsuccessful one? The marketing strategies behind them.

Many small business owners become overwhelmed in selecting the best strategies for their message because they don’t understand the fundamentals. So let’s look at the fundamentals first.

What is a marketing strategy, really? It’s a group of techniques that allow your organization to direct its resources and budget toward the best opportunities so you can get the best return on your investment and increase your bottom line.

Now that we know what a marketing strategy boils down to, let’s take a look at some of the necessary components of a GOOD marketing strategy:

Your Ideal Prospect

Otherwise known as your target audience, you’ve got to know exactly who it is you’re trying to reach with your marketing efforts. This should be the first step in every marketing strategy of every campaign.

You will waste time and budget trying to attract everyone to your offer, so to start, narrow your marketing efforts to the group of people your product or service will most likely (and easily) attract.

Here is why this step MUST come first:

Once you know WHO your ideal customer is, you’ll know what their interests, needs and concerns are. Once you know THESE, you’ll be able to create TV ads, newspaper ads, blog posts and billboard messages using a language they will instantly understand and connect with.

 


Take an Integrated ApproachTake an Integrated Approach

The ultimate goal of your marketing campaigns is to broaden your brand’s awareness and gain the trust of your target audience. The best way to do this is to use a mix of marketing channels such as magazine ads, direct mail, social media and radio to extend your reach and meet your prospects on the channels they prefer.

 

Know and Communicate Your Unique Selling Proposition

M&Ms are not only delicious, they are a perfect example of a unique selling proposition (USP). “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” That was not just a slogan, that was their USP, and it was a hit with consumers who love chocolate candy but hate getting gooey melted chocolate on their hands, clothes, steering wheel, etc.

Your offer also has to have something unique about it that makes it stand out from the competition, otherwise, why should people choose you? What are the main things that distinguish your product or service from similar offers in the marketplace?

Once you know your USP you will want to communicate it to your target audience in your marketing campaigns. Don’t be coy about it either, take a cue from M&Ms and put your USP front and center.

 

Always Focus on How You Can Help Your Customer

Your marketing shouldn’t focus on the fact that you’re the best there is, it should focus on how you have the solution to your prospects’ problems. Since you completed step one and you know exactly who your ideal customer is and what their pain points are, you are in a perfect position to show them your business has the right solution.

 

CommitCommit

A successful marketing strategy takes time and commitment,and that tales patience. If you don’t have patience, better hire a media planer with the patience of a saint to run yourcampaigns for you. All too often we have taken on clients who had the first 4 steps of a good strategy down, but then flopped when it came to this last one.

There are no shortcuts to achieving your business goals through proper marketing strategies.

The good news of course is, if you can put in the time and see your campaigns through to the end, track and monitor them and make any necessary tweaks and adjustments, you will be ahead of most of your competition.

What makes a good marketing strategy? Knowing your target customer, taking an integrated approach to your campaigns, knowing and communicating your USP, focusing on your customer’s problems and above all, committing.

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

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Topics: advertising strategy

What Advertisers Can Learn from GoDaddy

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

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

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

 

What Can You Learn From Godaddy?

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

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

Direct Mail

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

 

TelevisionTelevision advertising

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

 

Radio


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

 

Out of Home AdvertisementOut of Home (OOH)

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

 

Print

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

 

E-mail Marketing

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

 

Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

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Topics: advertising strategy

These Naughty Advertising Tactics Deserve Coal This Holiday Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Adopting digital trendsAdopting Digital Advertising Trends Just Because Everyone Else Is

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

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

 


Focusing on Instant Sales

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

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

 

Not Bothering to Test or TweakNot Bothering to Test or Tweak

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

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

 

Using Way Too Many Analytic Tools

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

 

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

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Topics: advertising strategy

Is Product Placement Part of Your Advertising Strategy?

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 09:14 AM

Last week’s blog post featured the benefits of cinema advertising. If you missed it or really want to read it again, you can do that here. Similar to cinema advertising is product placement. Product placement is a technique used by advertisers who wish to increase exposure by featuring their products in movies and on television shows. Most advertisers have to pay for product placement, but not Apple; the company simply hands out its products as needed. That’s a pretty sweet deal, and unfortunately, not all advertisers can be so lucky as to score free advertising. They can, however, incorporate product placement into their advertising strategy and achieve results.

Influence consumer preference

product-placement-pizza-hut

Product placement is a form of stealth marketing in that consumers do not realize they are being marketed to from the moment the movie begins until the credits start rolling at the conclusion of the film. Talk about sneaky. Advertisers pay to work their products seamlessly into the storyline and influence viewers who identify with the characters consuming the products on the big screen. If consumers make a connection with a particular character in the film, they might mimic his or her shopping behavior. Good product placement will not seem obvious to viewers, unless of course, they are smart marketers or advertisers like you and me, and it will influence future purchasing decisions unbeknownst to most consumers.

Build brand awareness

Like other forms of advertising, product placement can boost brand awareness. The more an advertiser’s product gets in front of consumers, the more likely they will consciously or subconsciously consider it product-placement-carwhen it comes time to make a purchase. Think about the number of times a character grabs his or her phone during a full-length movie or the number of times the character’s car is shown. On that note, can you name the car Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery drove as James Bond? How about Mike Myers as Austin Powers? Every time a brand name or logo flickers across the screen, even if just for a second, consumers become more aware of the product. Brand awareness is becoming increasingly important in today’s crowded marketplace and product placement is one way to help build it.

Promote products to engaged consumers

Product placement offers advertisers the opportunity to incorporate their products into entertainment. So essentially, consumers pay to view the advertisements when they purchase their movie tickets. Unlike television commercials which can be skipped or avoided by leaving the room, product placement in movies isn’t so easily ignored. The number of people who close their eyes or skip an entire scene because they don’t want to be marketed to is probably pretty small. Okay, it’s zero. Consumer engagement varies from movie to movie and from person to person, but I’m willing to bet consumers are more receptive to products featured in movies they enjoy.

Below are a few examples of successful product placement on the big screen:

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Let’s test your memory with this one. Do you remember the prominent product placement (whoa, say that product-placement-reesesthree times fast) featured in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial? Go ahead, close your eyes and let your mind wander back to Elliott riding his bike in his red zip-up hoodie. Do you see the product that helped Elliot lure E.T. out of the woods? It turns out E.T. and I share a love for Reese’s Pieces. Here’s a shocking tidbit: Mars brand M&Ms turned down the opportunity to be the alien’s candy of choice. That was a poor decision on their part as Hershey’s profits increased 65% following the release of the film.

You’ve Got Mail

Before Gmail, there was a little something called America Online, or AOL for short. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If you still have an AOL email account (Mom, Dad, Grandma, I’m talking to you), you might want to transition to Gmail. All the cool kids are doing it. I remember logging in to AOL and being welcomed by the familiar “You’ve Got Mail!” which became the title of the 22nd grossing romantic comedy of all time. AOL paired up with Warner Bros. to connect with the romantic comedy audience and try to convince them they could find love using their email service. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true, but the company got a lot of exposure as a result of this film.

The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie takes product placement to a whole new level as the title itself and everything in it is made of LEGO bricks. What child isn’t going to get the itch to play with LEGOs after watching this film? Sorry parents, but it looks like you will be buying LEGOs if you let your kids see this movie. The LEGO product-placement-toy-storyMovie isn’t the first animated movie to sell children’s toys. Toy Story also featured product placement by casting Mr. Potato Head and Etch-A-Sketch as characters; sales increased 800% and 4500%, respectively. The toys fit in so well that it wasn’t entirely obvious they were advertisements which is exactly what good product placement is all about. If your product has what it takes to be a Hollywood star, you should find an agent ASAP.

After learning some of the benefits of product placement and seeing a few examples, is it right for your brand? Let us know why product placement might or might not work for you in the comments section below.

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

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Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: advertising strategy

Is April Fool’s Day Part of Your Advertising Strategy?

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Apr 01, 2014 @ 08:32 AM

Today is the one day out of the year where pranksters get to do what they do best with little to no consequences for their actions while the rest of us live in a constant state of paranoia. What’s the best April Fool’s Day prank you have ever played on a friend, co-worker or family member? And if you’re willing to admit it, what’s the best prank you have ever fallen for? Let us know in the comments section below.

Your significant other and your co-workers aren’t the only ones who enjoy a good practical joke on a day like today. Companies want in on the prank planning, too. But why? They use this quirky holiday to engage with consumers and get people talking about their brand. Some release their pranks via social media while others go the more traditional route with print and radio advertisements. Regardless of media channel, the best pranks often get picked up by media outlets resulting in even greater exposure. Have you considered incorporating an April Fool’s Day prank into your advertising strategy? It might be worth the investment. Below is a sampling of some of the most talked about brand pranks delivered through the years.Is April Fool’s Day Part of Your Advertising Strategy?

Burger King: Left-Handed Whopper, 1998

We mentioned this prank in our post about National Hamburger Day last spring, but it’s too good not to mention in this prank-filled post. On April 1, 1998, Burger King ran a full page ad in USA Today introducing its new Left-Handed Whopper. That’s right; a burger made solely for our left-handed brethren. This BK newspaper ad was hugely successful and drove store traffic from lefties and righties alike, and people are still talking about it more than 15 years later.

Google: Nose, 2013

Google has been known to play a few tricks on the first of April. From adding a treasure map feature to Google Maps to developing an app that translates animal-speak, the company uses the holiday to draw attention to its sense of humor each year. My favorite Google prank is last year’s introduction of Google Nose, a feature developed to allow users to search for smells. Google promised users scents ranging from cookies to victory to the inside of an Egyptian tomb. While Google reigns as the most used search engine in the world, these attempts at prankvertising continue to keep it top of mind. What will they think of this year?

BBC: Flying Penguins, 2008

BBC has been planning April Fool’s Day pranks since the 1950s. Perhaps that’s why they were so successful in getting people to believe they had discovered a colony of penguins that could fly in 2008. Take a few minutes to watch the film trailer; I have to admit I was almost convinced.

While penguins can’t actually fly, they are quite capable of promoting the BBC iPlayer, as is evidenced by the film.

Scope: Bacon Mouthwash, 2013

P&G took advantage of the great American bacon craze last year with the introduction of Bacon Mouthwash "for breath that sizzles." Some of you were pretty upset about this littleIs April Fool’s Day Part of Your Advertising Strategy? prank and expressed your distaste via social media. The Facebook posts and print ads claimed the bacon-flavored mouthwash could kill "99.9% of bad breath germs with 100% bacon taste." Is bacon breath any better than bad breath though? Sorry bacon lovers, but it’s all the same to me.

Head to the comments section of this post tomorrow to let us know what advertiser played the best prank in 2014. Thanks for reading and keep your eyes peeled for toilet seats covered in Saran Wrap or any of these little tricks. Also, there’s no time like the present to start thinking of next year’s practical joke.

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media Download the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising eBook

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Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: advertising strategy

How Kickboxing Can Make You a Better Advertiser

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

For the past three years I have been taking kickboxing classes twice per week and I absolutely love it. Kickboxing is a fun fitness activity that helps me stay in shape while also providing a healthy opportunity to reduce stress and release pent up anger, if need be. The twin kickboxing instructors who lead my classes incorporate a variety of kicks, punches and cardio challenges that are sure to deliver results. Included below are three components of a good kickboxing sweat session and how they can make you a better advertiser.

Aim for your target

In kickboxing we are told to concentrate on each punch and aim for our target (whether nose, neck or “money shot”) in the mirror. Aim increases our ability to make contact with our target, which is something smart advertisers know a thing or two about. Once you pinpoint your target market using both qualitative and quantitative research, develop an advertisingHow Kickboxing Can Make You a Better Advertiser strategy that focuses on that demographic. When your messaging is aimed at the right market segment you will be most effective. Invest in the research and eliminate wasted dollars by targeting only those with the highest likelihood to consider your product.

Use combinations to be most effective

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I have been taking kickboxing classes for a few years. Because my instructors compile the kicks and punches into different combinations, I never get bored and usually have at least one sore muscle group by the time I roll out of bed the next morning. Consider the following kickboxing combinations and think about which would be most effective.

Combination #1: Jab, cross, jab, cross, jab, cross, jab, cross

Combination #2: Jab, cross, hook, uppercut, right front kick, left round kick (x2), right front kick

The first combination is pretty basic (and boring) as it uses only two punches. Plus, it would enable your attacker to anticipate your next move fairly easily. The second combination would be most effective as it incorporates a variety of punches and kicks and allows you to connect with your target in different ways. Similarly, an advertising campaign that utilizes multiple media channels to reach the target audience will be more effective than one that relies solely on one medium. Think about how many times you flip through your favorite magazine during the day. Now think about the radio ads you hear and the billboards you see on your morning commute. Add to that the hundreds of emails you receive during a given week and the number of pop-up ads that interrupt your web browsing. An advertiser who develops a campaign across multiple channels has a better chance of reaching consumers than an advertiser who relies on a single channel.

Hit the speed bag repeatedly

How Kickboxing Can Make You a Better AdvertiserIn-between each combination we do short bursts of cardio. One of our cardio challenges involves doing speed bag arms while simultaneously doing jack legs. Not only is this cardio combo exhausting, but it requires focus and endurance. The goal is to hit your target repeatedly with fury. When this gets translated to advertising, the goal is not to batter and bruise your target audience, but to hit them with your ads over and over and over again. You really want to pound your messaging into their heads so they never forget it. The greater the recall, the better your bottom line.

Remember the following and you’ll be in tip-top advertising shape in no time: aim for your target, use multiple media channels and hit your target audience repeatedly so your competitive advantage really sinks in.

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

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Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: advertising, advertising strategy

Which Holiday Food Should Your Advertising Strategy Mimic? - Part II

Posted by Hannah Hill on Thu, Dec 26, 2013 @ 11:57 AM

The following is a guest post by Jenna Bruce.

Welcome back for part two of this blog series. Hopefully you pick up on the benefits of print, digital and mobile advertising and figure out which channels are best for your next advertising campaign. Continue reading to learn how popcorn tins and glazed ham could give your advertising strategy a much needed boost.

Popcorn Tins

To this day I get way too excited at receiving a holiday popcorn tin shipped to me by a faraway aunt or uncle. What makes these holiday tins so fantastic is the variety of popcorn flavors packed inside. In this way, popcorn tins are a lot like digital advertising.Which Holiday Food Should Your Advertising Strategy Mimic?

Digital advertising also offers a variety of flavors and channels to reach your audience like email marketing, banner ads, PPC and organic search. Digital advertising allows you to take full control of the search engines, individual websites and social networks and get your business instantly in front of prospects.

Campaign Results are Easily Measured

Measuring results is crucial in determining whether your campaign is a hit or a flop. Digital advertising allows you to easily collect data like how many hits your page has gotten, the number of times an ad was viewed, and whether the activity resulted in a sale or a subscription.

A popcorn tin also makes it very easy to determine which flavor is the biggest hit in your household: simply take off the lid and look at which wedge of popcorn is lower than the others. Collecting this data lets you surreptitiously mention to your aunt your family’s love of cheddar and kettle corn popcorn but not so much the classic butter. That way she can make a more informed buying decision next year.

Digital Ads are Engaging Ads

Although offline media has its merits, as I’ve mentioned, online advertising offers much more interactivity. Whether you incorporate videos, games or audio messages into your campaign, you have a much better chance of keeping your prospects engaged.

Popcorn is also engaging. You can shove a handful into your mouth at once, or let one single piece melt on your tongue. You can toss a piece up in the air and try and catch it in your mouth, or toss it across the room to see if your dog can catch it in his. Very engaging indeed.

Speed of Delivery

In digital advertising, there is very little time between when a campaign rolls out and when prospects interact with your message. Modifications to your ads can also happen quickly. This speed of delivery is one of the biggest benefits of digital advertising.

When the popcorn tin is opened on Christmas morning, it can instantly be consumed as the popcorn has already been popped for you.

Glazed Ham

In our house we keep things traditional by baking a glazed ham for our family dinner. Now stay with me here because I may blow your mind when I tell you how a glazed ham and mobile advertising are not dissimilar.

Portable Advertising

Mobile phone users are generally never without their mobile phone. In this way they can take Which Holiday Food Should Your Advertising Strategy Mimic?your advertising campaigns and brand messaging with them wherever they go.

Although you can, technically, take a glazed ham with you wherever you go, it’s easier to make a ham sandwich out of the leftovers and take the sandwich with you wherever you go. Sandwiches are the quintessential mobile food.

Cost-Effective Advertising

In recent years, the cost of launching mobile marketing campaigns has been dramatically reduced. SMS costs have dropped from $0.15 per message just a couple of years ago to about $0.07 today, with lower rates available for larger campaigns.

Ham is also very affordable. Compared to a rack of lamb or prime rib roast, a baked ham is clearly the more affordable choice.

Time-Sensitive Messaging

Because mobile customers usually have their phones turned on, they can receive time-sensitive messages from you about sales and special offers with no delays.

Okay, I’ll admit, I don’t have a ham equivalent to this benefit, except to say that time-sensitive messaging is delicious and so is ham.

This holiday, while you’re spending time with your family, opening presents and spreading good cheer – and hopefully stuffing your face full of decadent goodies – think about the business goals you’d like to reach in the coming year and how print, digital and mobile advertising can help you reach them. Download 'The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising' as a starting point.

Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising

RELATED POSTS:

  1. Now that Holiday Advertising is Wrapping up, What’s Next?
  2. Naughty or Nice: Which Holiday Ads Are More Effective?
  3. 3 Tried-and-True Advertising Strategies
  4. How to Determine What Type of Publication is Best for Your Ads

Image credit: SodaHead, Honey Ridge Farms

Topics: advertising strategy

Which Holiday Food Should Your Advertising Strategy Mimic? - Part I

Posted by Hannah Hill on Mon, Dec 23, 2013 @ 09:42 AM

The following is a guest post by Jenna Bruce.

To some people, the holidays are a time for family, presents and laughter. And while I can appreciate spending time with my family (to some degree anyway), gift giving and good ol’ fashioned holiday cheer, I’m really all about the food. To me the holidays are about stuffing my face with sinfully delicious goodies, yet not feeling sinful about it. Is that so wrong?

As I was fantasizing about all of the sweet and savory treats I shall consume in the coming weeks, it occurred to me that some holiday foods have an awful lot in common with certain forms of advertising. Since one of the questions we’re often asked by clients is, “What type of advertising is best for my product or service?,” I thought I’d outline some of the benefits of print, digital and mobile advertising with an homage to my favorite holiday foods in a two-part blog series.

Eggnog

Ah eggnog. This classic shares many similarities with print advertising; I bet you didn’t knowWhich Holiday Food Should Your Advertising Strategy Mimic? that. Like print, eggnog seems to have been around since forever; in fact, culinary historians put eggnog’s origins as far back as medieval Britain when people drank a hot, milky ale-like drink in those gigantic silver mugs (I’m speculating about the mugs).

And, also like print, though eggnog has enjoyed being popular for decades, many people now
consider it a bit… passé.

The very idea of print advertising or eggnog ever being passé puts a crimp in my stocking. Neither will go out of style and here’s why:

A Targeted Audience

Print advertising, more than any other, allows highly targeted ad placements that will get your offer in front of the right audience and ONLY the right audience. Newspapers in particular, with their special sections, inserts and ability to target specific geographic areas, as well as defined groups of consumers, make reaching your target demographic easy and cost-effective.

If you’re an eggnog lover like I am, the beverage also helps you get in touch with people who want to hear what you have to say, mainly other eggnog drinkers. Imagine being at a holiday party: in one corner is a group of hipsters, each holding a new fandangled cocktail, in the other corner, a handful of diehard eggnog drinkers. Who are you going to reach out to? Who will you have more in common with? Who knows how to party in a classic, unpretentious way? The eggnog drinkers, of course.

A Trusted Source of Information

Despite the growth of online advertising channels in recent years, numerous studies repeatedly show that print media is still the most trusted source of information. Consumers still turn to newspapers and magazines to get accurate and timely information before making a buying decision. In this way you could say print media is the “go to” media for consumer research.

Eggnog is also a “go to” beverage for many holiday consumers. If it wasn’t, why would every single grocery store in America, yes, every single one, carry those little milk cartons of the stuff? Huh? I rest my case.

Which Holiday Food Should Your Advertising Strategy Mimic?

Affluent Consumers Prefer Print Advertising

According to a 2012 Ipsos MediaCT Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, 82% of those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more are reading print publications. As an advertiser, you most likely want to get your offer in front of those with a large disposable income.

Know what else the affluent like besides newspapers and magazines? Eggnog. Or at least they did. Back in the 1700s, which was kind of a heyday for eggnog, milk, eggs, and sherry were foods only the affluent could afford.

Tune in Thursday for Part II featuring popcorn and glazed ham. Until then, download our free eBook on the 10 benefits of local advertising. Consider it an early Christmas present.

Download the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising eBook

RELATED POSTS:

  1. Now that Holiday Advertising is Wrapping up, What’s Next?
  2. Naughty or Nice: Which Holiday Ads Are More Effective?
  3. 3 Tried-and-True Advertising Strategies
  4. How to Determine What Type of Publication is Best for Your Ads
Image credit: Andrew MartineauPsPrint

Topics: advertising strategy