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

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.

c.png

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

Print is Not Dead and Other Lessons I’ve Learned This Year

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Sep 17, 2013 @ 11:58 AM

Today marks my one year anniversary as a marketing specialist with Mediaspace Solutions. Throughout the past year I have written a grand total of 61 blog posts about advertising and the newspaper industry while also featuring some of today’s advertising leaders on our blog. Hopefully you caught a few of my articles and learned a thing or two, just as I did. Here’s the biggest takeaway: newspapers and magazines are still alive and relevant in today’s advertising world.

Print is not deadPrint is not dead
I don’t know how many times I stumbled upon news articles, blog posts and tweets claiming that print is dead, dying, on its death bed, you name it. If that were the case, why are investors like Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet still investing in print? We talked a little bit about that in a post last month, so check it out if you missed it. The top three U.S. newspapers (The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA TODAY) boast average weekday circulation (print and digital) of more than 1.6 million. I’m not a cardiologist, but that sounds like a pretty strong heartbeat to me and proves that print is still alive and kicking.

Print is still preferred among some consumers
You may think the Baby Boomer generation is the only group that not only consumes print media but prefers it to its digital counterparts. This is the part where I tell you that you’re wrong. A recent Placed study, focused on back-to-school shopper preferences among mobile users, found that 46.3% prefer to receive print promotions over mobile promotions. The majority of those mobile users do not belong to the Baby Boomer segment, given they were shopping for school supplies, (unless Arts ‘n Crafts is a big draw at senior homes these days) which means that even younger generations prefer print at times. Remember when I told you that newspapers ranked first for being “most believable and trustworthy”? If you missed that blog post, check it out now. You’ll learn that consumers consider newspapers to be more credible than any other medium.

Print advertising captures attention
Print advertising still turns heads. That’s right. Print can be just as innovative as the next guy. Take a look at these creative print ads released during the past year and tell me you aren’t impressed or that you won’t remember a single one of them five minutes from now. Print is more than capable of attracting consumers, building brand awareness and driving sales. Plus, print has a longer shelf life than TV, online and radio, which gives advertisers more time in front of their target market. Just think about the amount of time you spend with a newspaper or magazine compared to the amount of time you are exposed to a banner or radio ad. It’s not rocket science to conclude that print comes out on top.

Print advertising captures attention    Print advertising captures attention

Print advertising captures attention   

   Print advertising captures attention      Print advertising captures attention

Print increases the effectiveness of digital advertising campaigns and vice versa
This is something we stress at Mediaspace Solutions because it works. Print and digital advertising are a perfect pair. An integrated media plan helps your company reach consumers through a variety of channels, and the more opportunity you have to expand your reach, the better. When you utilize both print and digital, you boost the strength of your advertising campaigns.

Not only is print still relevant, but it can be extremely critical to the success of your campaign, especially if your target audience is among the affluent and educated. Download our FREE eBook ‘Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers’ to learn how to maximize print advertising. If you’d like to learn how to integrate your print and digital advertising campaigns, then ‘The CMO’s Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media’ is ready when you are.

Download Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

RELATED POSTS:

  1. Newspaper Purchase as Butt of the Joke is a Sign of Life for Industry
  2. Note to Newspaper Critics: Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Your Mouth
  3. Four Reasons Newspaper Advertising Still Matters to Your Business
  4. Newspapers Experiencing Success (Current Headline, Not 1987)
  5. What If You Had Given Up Newspapers for Lent?
Image credit: Adweek, mediabistro and Desizn World

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: print advertising, newspaper industry, print newspaper, print industry, print

MyPillow® Combines Print and Digital Media to Maximize Budgets

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 02:14 PM

Talking about the benefits of combining print and digital media is nothing newMike Lindell is the CEO of MyPillow, the most comfortable pillow you'll ever own on this blog, so hopefully you’re used to it now. The reason being, there are a number of benefits and methods to do it. The choices really are endless and the frequency and exposure you can get with similar audiences across both platforms can work in your favor. But you need to know how to do it well, and be able to measure your success so you know how well it’s working.

One company that’s all about tracking the return on each and every advertising dollar spent is MyPillow®. Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow® started his company because, like many people, he couldn’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. In his own words, “I would wake up in the morning with a sore arm, my neck would hurt, my fingers would be numb, and I would toss and turn all night not knowing why. I tried many different pillows on the market and none of them worked.” Because of his own difficulty, Mike came up with MyPillow®, and since its introduction more than seven years ago, the pillows have been selling like gangbusters, and the feedback has been extremely positive.

Mediaspace had the chance to sit down with Mike and hear about how he started his company, his methods for advertising and what he’s found successful, and the sleep study he’s currently conducting, in which he’s discovering where sleep comes from. You can download the full interview here, but below we’ve included a few highlights. Enjoy.

Mediaspace: What have been some of the key learnings you’ve taken away from the different businesses you’ve started?

Mike: One of the best things an entrepreneur can do, if they lack knowledge or experience in a particular area, is find someone who has been in the business a long time and pick their brain or offer them a job. I have more than 500 employees and I couldn’t have gotten this far without them. I have been very fortunate in bringing the right people on board to compensate for my weaknesses.

Mediaspace: What is one way MyPillow® is making or breaking the rules versus just abiding by the rules?

Mike: The concept of breaking the rules goes hand in hand with the book I’m writing titled Against the Wind. Many people tell me I have to take my advertising to the next level, but why? It’s working. When my print ad came out in the New York Times I got calls from big companies offering to help me with my advertising strategy, but I didn’t want their help because my ad was hugely successful. That ad has been running for more than a year and it’s been one of the most successful print ads in the United States. MyPillow® has broken every advertising rule in the books.

Mediaspace: What are you doing to make direct response advertising so effective?

Mike: We are effective because of my personal story. People are buying into the story because it’s a real story from someone who has struggled with the same problem. They know I’m telling the truth and my customer testimonials speak for themselves.

Mediaspace: As an established business leader what’s the one thing you spend the most time thinking about?

Mike: My company affects thousands of lives and I think about that all the time. Additionally, I’m always thinking about new products. I’ve got a lot of big ideas for the second phase of MyPillow®.

Get the full interview now and if you’re interested in learning more about integrating print and digital advertising, download our latest eBook.

Mike Lindell is the CEO of MyPillow, the most comfortable pillow you'll ever own and a successful direct response advertiser using both print and online media Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media 

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences.You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

Topics: digital advertising, digital, direct response advertising, print advertising, direct response, print

The Future of Newspapers is Bright

Posted by Hannah Hill on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 @ 01:30 PM

National Newspaper Week is October 7-13Extra! Extra! Read all about it! It’s already day four of National Newspaper Week, so I hope you’ve picked up a newspaper and a cup of joe to celebrate. If not, what’s stopping you? According to Caroline H. Little, President and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America in Arlington, Virginia, the future of newspapers is bright.

Yes, you read that correctly. She said bright. Although the newspaper industry isn’t what it used to be, newspapers still reach more than 100 million adults each month. That’s almost a third of the U.S. population and an audience equivalent to the Super Bowl. The infographic posted Monday states nearly 60 percent of the 18 to 34 demographic reads a newspaper online or in print on a weekly basis. Newspapers have proven successful in a variety of forms, predominately print and digital, and they continue to engage and inform readers of all ages. Many aggregators rely on newspapers as their primary source for content and search engines often refer people to newspaper websites for content readers can trust. Today, print and digital newspapers go hand-in-hand, bringing the news to our fingertips, though it doesn’t always come with an inky smudge.

Stop by tomorrow for another post related to National Newspaper Week. In the meantime, pick up a paper and learn something new. If you’re interested in learning the benefits of local advertising, download our latest report, ‘Ten Benefits of Local Advertising.’

Download the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising eBook

Topics: digital, newspaper readership, local advertising, print

If Print is Dead, why give it a Facelift?

Posted by Scott Olson on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 @ 02:19 PM

We’ve all heard the stories, seen the headlines and made funny faces when your friends tell you, ‘I work in print advertising.’ Rumor has it the print industry is headed down the tubes and the free-for-all that started a few years ago is a speeding train that can’t be stopped. But why, if that’s the case, are publications spending what ‘little’ revenue they’re generating re-thinking, re-tooling, and re-designing their print products and digital properties?

usa todayThe answer is simple really, the rumors aren’t 100% true. Sure, print has seen declines and continues to see revenues head in an unfavorable direction, but some stabilization has taken place, and in some publications and DMA’s, print publications are actually seeing increases. For instance, take the Star Tribune, our hometown paper here in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Just a few years ago they were experiencing bankruptcy and trying to determine what’s next. So what’d they do? Raised prices of subscriptions and single issues and saw a 6% increase in Sunday circulation. They also redesigned their paper and website to be more reader friendly, after, believe it or not, talking to their readers to see what they wanted to read and how they wanted to see it. Novel concept, I know. Heck, even ‘the interactive guy’ has rediscovered his long lost love of print.

In addition to the Star Tribune, USA Today just announced they have rebranded the publication and will reveal the new look, of the paper and the website, Sept. 14. The changes, according to the MediaPost story from Erik Sass, include a ‘revamped’ logo for the 30-year-old newspaper.

adageNewspapers aren’t the only ones updating their look to remain relevant. AdAge just went through a major overhaul, including changing the size of their print product. “The print evolution takes its cue from our audience’s behavior,” wrote Abbey Klaassen in her story outlining the facelift. What AdAge has figured out, and other publications should certainly follow their lead, is a way to integrate their print and online editions. The new AdAge incorporates a mobile app that makes sharing stories from the print version quick and easy. This is a great example of combining traditional and emerging media to expand reach and take advantage of the social conversations happening every day.

To learn more about how the Star Tribune went from bankruptcy to success, check out our interview with Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Griffing. Or if you’re ready to determine the routes you can take to integrate print and digital media, get our latest ebook, ‘The CMO’s Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media.’

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

 

Topics: print advertising, newspapers, print

Four Reasons Newspaper Advertising Still Matters

Posted by Molly Carnicom on Thu, Mar 08, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

Your local coffee shop, your doorstep, the person next to you on a plane. The places you’ll find newspapers are endless. Many skeptics feel the newspaper industry is dying. Here are a few reasons why newspaper advertising should still be part of your integrated marketing plan:

  1. Newspapers Tell a Story Unlike any Other Medium – Newspapers set the tone and shape the coverage for other mediums. People feel more emotionally connected to stories presented in print because good journalists express exactly what they are trying to say causing people to become deeply involved in an article.
  2. Readers Take Action – Newspaper readers are devoted and sincerely believe in the credibility of newspapers. In addition, people find newspapers more accurate and reliable than other sources when it comes to advertising. In fact, four in five adults have taken action as a result of a newspaper ad in the past month.
  3. Large Audience Reached – One hundred and two million people read the newspaper in print or online every weekday. Let’s be honest, that is a ton of eyes seeing your content using just one medium.
  4. National Brands Create a Local Presence – Readers enjoy their local newspaper. Forty-four million copies of the 1,300-plus daily print newspapers are sold on an average weekday. Your brand would be reaching those local markets and the consumers reading or paging through the paper.

So now that you’ve read this, you’re asking yourself, what’s next? If you’re like many of the skeptics or reading what’s being published you’re still telling yourself, newspapers are dying. Well you can believe that if you choose to, but that’s not our experience. Our clients have experienced great success by including newspaper advertising, print and online, into their integrated marketing mix. So much success in fact, that they are increasing their budgets to take even greater advantage of this medium.

Some of you might be reading this and say to yourselves, ‘Isn’t this just a blatant self-promotion of what you do?’ In fact it is. We are pimping our wares a bit with this post, but in essence it fits with the rest of what this blog is all about. We want to bring you relevant, timely and actionable information related to marketing, advertising and growing your business. And newspapers happen to be a medium, while often overlooked, that can and do prove effective for many advertisers.

describe the image

How do you integrate newspapers into your marketing plans? Let us know in the comments section below.

Click meClick me

Topics: advertising, newspapers, print, consumer behavior

Challenging Assumptions: Reader Retention in Print vs. Online Media

Posted by Molly Carnicom on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

Now that 2011 has ended, you can take a look at what mediums worked best for engage audiences and determine:  What worked? What didn’t work? A recent study conducted by the University of Oregon answers an interesting question: Does reader engagement towards news stories vary by media type (print vs. online)? Here are some Top-Line Results:

Of the survey group, which averaged 22 years in age:

  • 76.9% reported their main source of news is the Internet
  • 19.2% primarily use printed newspapers for news
  • 17.3% primarily use television
  • 7.7% primarily use radio

The study concluded:

  • Readers of print newspapers recalled noticeably more news stories than online news readers
  • Readers of print newspapers remembered more news topics and article main points than online readers

Overall results show print readers remember more news stories than those who read online. This could be contributed to a few findings, such as the printed newspaper layout being less distracting. For more results, take-aways and access to the complete study, check out Medium Matters: Newsreaders’ Recall and Engagement with Online and Print Newspapers

Click meClick me

Topics: online, tablet, newspapers, print