Eye Openers – Advertising

In marketing, you’re only as good as the message your audience remembers. We address Eye Openers in today’s blog, and as a business owner you want the eyes of your potential or current customers to focus on your brand.

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Creating advertising or marketing campaigns is one of the many services offered by the LJF Marketing team. This includes media identification and planning, campaign theme/graphics/content, production & follow up, plus monitoring.

Advertising for most companies seems like a daunting task. How many calls from ad reps do you receive? Some of our clients use their retainer with us to review calls in order to ascertain whether the medium is a good fit for their strategy. Other than what media kits promise, how do you know if advertising will work for your business? There are certainly tracking mechanisms that should be put in place to make sure the advertising is effective.

How does advertising fit in with your overall business strategy? An advertising strategy should reflect a company’s overall budget, brand recognition efforts, public image enhancement and market share growth strategy. Is your sales team prepared for inquiries, how will they move a candidate forward in developing a relationship before a sale can be made? Is your production or service team ready to respond once the sale is made?

Know your audience. Who is your customer, how often does he/she buy your product or service; are they part of a certain identifiable demographic segment? This is the step that most businesses spend the least amount of time on when it should be the first priority for segmenting your potential customer base.

Once you know your audience, choosing the type of advertising can be like walking in a fog! Do you choose print, broadcast, cable, radio, outdoor, online (Facebook, Linkedin, websites like woodlandsonline.com, hcnonline.com or chron.com for our Woodlands, TX area)? So many choices.

Once you identify the medium, what budget will be effective using that medium? If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

Regarding messaging, what are you trying to convey? What content, image, graphics are going to get the most response?

Our clients rely on LJF to support them by recommending an advertising strategy that fits within their overall business and marketing plans. We help identify the best positioning statement to set the client apart from their competition and use that in the ad messaging along with creative images and graphics to grab attention. Lastly we monitor the campaign and develop a process to guide the client and their team to nurture a lead to the point of sale.

We love the following sources and we hope this helps you decide if advertising works for your business.

http://bit.ly/1DfdI54

http://bit.ly/1FPLelS

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Message Crafting in the Midst of March

In the craziness of work, life, numerous tasks and even Spring Break, we often forget the main reason we do everything we do. The same is true of companies – it’s easy to neglect the purpose behind all of your business transactions when a lot more work is coming in than usual.

It’s crucial, however, to remember your purpose in times like these, and make sure it’s transferring to the way you promote and market your business. After all, doesn’t a sense of purpose get us through the busy times? When we forget it, our tasks seem to be more difficult and executed less intentionally.

The point: your company’s message should be an expression of your company’s purpose.

Here are a few facets where your company’s message should be present in any marketing campaign:

  • Graphics – did you know that even the color scheme you use is important in conveying your message? In certain industries, some colors are seen as negative, so you will want to avoid those colors in your marketing strategy and advertising campaigns.
  • Tagline – a tagline is a short phrase or statement that describes either what the particular campaign’s message is or what your company’s message is (in general). It’s necessary to have a snappy tagline so people know what your firm is all about.
  • Body (if needed) – Think back to when you wrote papers in college: you needed a thesis and the rest of the paper was supposed to back it up, right? The same is true if you’re doing a brochure, website, or anything other than an ad (you don’t need a body for an ad because too much text detracts from the core message); everything in paragraph form should back up your company’s message.

LJF_BT_MarAdvertising will turn into action with the right target, message and frequency. The message is crucial, but it’s just one part of the big picture.

If you need assistance with the right message or your advertising in general, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!

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Think Brand Consistency for 2014

It’s December, which means a new year will begin soon. As your company begins planning, take the time to discuss where your brand is (not just your company’s billings). Your brand affects all aspects of what marketers call the marketing mix – product/service, price, placement and promotion.  Here are some talking points and examples to help you stay on track and think brand consistency in 2014!

four_principles_of_the_markProduct/Service:

What are you selling to your clients? Does this line up with your firm’s values?

  • Make sure your company is clear on the product and which values it reflects back on your company. If they don’t line up, there is a problem.
  • For example: Volvo doesn’t JUST sell a transportation vehicle to its customers, it sells safety and reliability, which are values reflected in their marketing efforts.

Price:

What does the price of your product say about your business? What kind of customers are you looking to attract, and how does the price play into that?

  • Generally, a product can be two of three things: fast, inexpensive or high quality. If your values are efficiency, make sure your price reflects that… you’ll get it done fast and effectively, but you’ll be more expensive (or you’ll produce a less expensive item that requires less expensive materials).
  • For example: Walmart prices items very low to gain many customers and make more money. The value for Walmart customers is not in the experience; it’s in the low prices. Target, in contrast, prices their items a little higher, but includes fashion-forward and more associates around the store that can assist customers, placing more emphasis on efficiency and the quality. While this example may focus on B2C firms, the concept applies to all industries.

Placement:

Where do you want to place your physical product? Do you want to use a sales force? What will your distribution channels be?

  • This is where promotional items and brochures come in. If you don’t offer a physical product, make sure information is readily available and place it accordingly.

Promotion:

Where do you want potential customers to see the services you offer? Do you want potential customers to hear about you from editorial pieces, or from traditional advertisements?

  • The editorial route will focus more on PR and is an approach that takes advantage of word-of-mouth; advertising allows firms to seamlessly integrate a brand’s look with their message. There are pros and cons to each.
  • For example: Run Thru The Woods advertises in the local newspapers and running publications because the executives want to target the public in our area that is active and therefore more likely to participate in physical activity on a holiday.

As you can see, brand consistency is more complex than simply slapping your logo on everything, so talk to us if you need help figuring out how to execute the values of your brand. Our goal is to make sure you’re concentrating all aspects of your brand’s marketing efforts effectively and consistently in 2014.

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