Let’s start with a dead mouse.
When you run down to the hardware store to invest in a mousetrap, I’m quite sure you have a very clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish. So start with the end in mind. (Ick. It’s not the prettiest metaphor I’ve ever created.)
But seriously, killer, do you know what you want your site to accomplish? Every day I speak to business owners and directors who don’t.
Bad answer: we want visitors to learn about our company. Good answer: we want to capture the email address of the visitor so we can begin to nurture a relationship. Though it’s a very smart, strategic objective, email opt-in is just one possible objective. You don’t need to have this objective, but you do need to have one in mind.
Select the most effective bait.
Now we’re talking content. Though cheese is a popular choice for mousetrap bait, authorities in the rodent reduction business argue that peanut butter is the best bet for the mouse’s last meal. Whatever works.
The idea is pretty simple. You need to know what will draw your target in. The process of learning exactly what that is should involve research, and then testing. In the world of online content marketing, both have become amazingly simple.
Rats. I hate to bail on my nifty metaphor so soon, but it’s time to introduce a second one: magnetism. No doubt, you’ve come to know the term “magnetic content.” I offered 21 content marketing magnets in my last article here. You give your website pulling power with magnetic content — stuff that not only attracts eyeballs, but eyeballs embedded in the heads of the type of people that truly belong at your site, your target market and, hopefully, your brand advocates of the future.
eMarketer founder, Geoff Ramsey, says marketers should ask themselves five questions about the content they create to determine whether it will be truly attractive to their audience:
Marketing authorities everywhere — and a booming brigade of companies that now embrace the principles of content marketing and enjoy its profound benefits — suggest you resist the urge to pitch your product. Instead, consider, product aside, what can you do for your customer?
To select the most effective bait, you identify exactly what whets your target’s appetite and serve it up in generous portions.
Be wary of stale cheese.
Your site also needs to encourage its visitors to stay awhile. What’s more, it should inspire its audience to interact with the content you put there, bookmark it, share it with others, and return often.
Freshness matters. Think of it as a bakery. It’s the fresh baked goods that’ll produce the aromas that magically waft from the racks and bring people back again and again. Think of it as a newsstand. People will rush to snag the breaking story. Now, think of it as the bait on your mousetrap and, as weird as it sounds, think of the mouse as having a sophisticated enough palate to steer clear of stinky old cheese.
Mostly, you should think of it as a search engine. The one that matters most has been tweaking its algorithm in an effort to recognize the freshness of content. By creating fresh content, you now have a greater chance of appearing atop search engine results for relevant terms.
So your content strategy must include a schedule, and those responsible for manning the site must take an oath to abide by it. In general, you should update the content on your site as often as possible. Blogs are the bomb for this.
Warning: Close your eyes for this next part. It gets gross.
Consider the sticky stuff.
You’ve seen those traps where the rodent steps onto an adhesive surface? As you know, the little bugger gets stuck. He’s taken his last step.
While I don’t want you to take this 100 percent literally, I do think a little visualization helps me make my point: A killer site is a sticky site.
There’s no shortage of “how to” material on the subject of stickiness, but today I’d like to focus on the mindset you need to succeed.
In 3 Angles to Create Magnetic Content with the Triangle of Relevance, author Angie Schottmuller stresses relevance is the key to making content great. She presents a three-part formula for getting people to “click and stick,” whereby you create content for your site that:
Comfort is another must-have for your ultra-sticky site. If you’ve nailed the relevance requirement, visitors should be saying to themselves, “I should go here,” and, “I like it here.”
Make your users feel at home on your website. Decorate it accordingly. Don’t make it too busy. Show them around. Offer them assurance and invite them to get involved. Ask them questions. Answer them. Give them treats. Ask them to come back often and tell them to invite their friends.
DON’T bombard them with product pitches. Don’t harp on how great thou art. And don’t insist they need to open their wallets in the early stages of your relationship.
And finally, don’t forget flavor.
So the stuff that’s going on your mousetrap is all of the above: useful, relevant, timely, and free of charge. Don’t blow it now by being bland and flavorless. The cheese needs to be tasty. I hope you’re not laughing at me. I’m serious. The boring website is an epidemic of massive proportions.
In an effort to please everyone, site operators the world over leave out the salt and pepper. It might be deliberate; that is, the mentality is to not risk offending anyone’s taste.
Stupider still, it might trace to flavorless writing. A lot of companies are too frugal to hire a professional copywriter to write the site’s content (yes, I have advice about this topic too). You have to admit, these companies do not subscribe to the Content is King mantra. And then you have your inclination to let non-writers, such as the CEO or a product pro, create the content. You need to resist this strategy as well.
You can’t bore people into buying stuff, whether it’s your product or your ideas. If you want people to bite, make your bait rich with flavor.
So tell me, what are you putting on your mousetrap? Also, help yourself to the tasty pages of “21 Pointers to Sharpen Your Website.” I hope you’ll agree it‘s an example of what this article is all about.]]>
Author: Brian Solis
March 5, 2012
Think of your favorite brand, and the first thing to come to mind is likely a logo, such as the Coca-Cola scripting, a tag-line, such as Nike’s “Just do it,” or a jingle – remember the Oscar Meyer Wiener song? These may be the aspects of a brand you remember, but they are no longer the most important aspects of branding today. Identity, persona, essence and promise, are the new kings and queens of the branding kingdom, thanks to technology and the deeper connections it opens up between brands and consumers.
Markets, consumer behavior and how businesses connect with customers are all directly impacted by technology. Looking at the rapid erosion of Blockbuster’s business model, it’s clear to see the impact that technology can have on consumer behavior. During Blockbuster’s initial bankruptcy filing, CNBC’s The Faber Report summarized it this way, “At the end of the day, this is one of those bankruptcies that’s not really about a financial situation as much as it’s about seminal changes in how people ultimately watch video.”
The increasingly important role of technology, combined with global economic unrest, means a company’s brand is more important today than it has ever been. Consumers, in search of certainty, rely heavily on a brand’s symbolism and significance. We don’t have to look much further than Netflix for a recent example of what happens when executives misread the impact of technology and consumer demand and in turn, make decisions that have negative effects on the business and the brand. In this case Reed Hastings and company raised prices, which sent customers in an uproar. Feeling the effects of negative sentiment from a full-blown PR crisis and a declining stock price, Netflix opted to divide the company into two entities, Qwikster would handle DVDs and Netflix would focus on digital and streaming. The company caved to consumer and investor pressure however and folded the two entities back under Netflix, killing off Qwikster as quickly as it introduced it. Netflix customers weren’t ready for such a bold move toward a new direction. But, any form of market research that studied conversations in social networks or quite simply, a customer engagement program would have revealed the state of consumer needs. Netflix now must focus on rebuilding its brand to earn and re-earn trust before it can take another aggressive move into the future.
Brands that fail to instill this level of confidence in consumers run the risk of falling to digital Darwinism. The brands that survive this era of economic disruption, will be the ones that are best able to evolve because they recognize the need and opportunity to do so, before their competitors .
Digital Darwinism is the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than some companies’ ability to adapt.
The point of natural selection is that not every business will make it. As Edward Lawler and Christopher Worley note in their book Built to Change, “An analysis of Fortune 1000 corporations shows that between 1973 and 1983, 35% of companies in the top 20 were new.” Their work showed that the number of new companies rose to 45 percent between 1983 and 1993. That number increased to 60 percent between 1993 and 2003. And, as they so appropriately asked, “Any bets [as] to where it will be between 2003 and 2013?”
To further their point, a recent ad produced by Babson College cited a rather humbling statistic; “Over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.”
We’ve witnessed the demise of seemingly invincible brands in the U.S., such as Circuit City, Borders Books, Wherehouse, Tower Records, Pontiac, Saturn, and Palm among others. Meanwhile, grim predictions show that the pattern has no end in sight. In June, 24/7 Wall St. published its annual list of “Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2012.” The publication predicts the demise of some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Sony Pictures, American Apparel and Nokia.
What separates brands that falls to digital evolution from those that excel is the ability to recognize the need for change and the vision to blaze a path toward renewed relevance among a new generation of consumers.
In 1984, Apple stunned the world with its now iconic “1984” commercial. It firmly established Apple’s brand and ultimately set the stage for the company’s significance in the emerging personal computers market. The commercial attained legendary status, but Apple, like every brand, would still need to relentlessly compete for attention and relevance.
A year later, Apple attempted to match its previous success with “Lemmings,” a commercial that dramatized the lemming-like behavior of the PC-based workforce. The ad, while arguably brilliant, was widely considered a flop, since following the image of businessmen following one another over a cliff confused customers. Over time, Apple’s brand slowly degraded, losing touch with its core audience and missing an opportunity to connect with the growing base of consumers seeking personal computers.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he was on a mission to not only turn the company he co-founded around, but also rebrand the company to connect with consumers. In a recently surfaced internal video, Jobs focused on the importance of brand as he introduced the employees to its iconic advertising campaign, “Think Different.”
“For me, marketing is about values,” said Jobs,”This is a very noisy world and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. So, we have to be very clear what we want them to know about us.”
The company then looked inward in an attempt to answer the questions: Who is Apple; What does it stand for and where does the brand fit in the world.
“What we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done,” said Jobs during the company meeting,” Apple’s core value is that we believe people with passion can change the world…for the better. Those people, crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do.…Here’s to the crazy ones.”
The “Think Different” campaign would run from 1997 to 2002 and effectively rebrand Apple for years to come. But that was just one example of how the company would use branding to compete for attention and relevance over the years.
In 2011, Millward Brown Optimor released its annual BrandZ survey that ranked and valued the world’s top brands.
Apple surged to the number one spot, soaring 84 percent relative to its 2010 ranking. The company boasts a brand value estimated at $153 billion. Google came in second, however its brand value fell by 2 percent to $111 billion. IBM came in third, with a 17-percent increase in brand value year over year to tie Google at $111 billion. McDonald’s ranked fourth, growing 23 percent and earning a brand value of $81 billion.
Any other company would likely be thrilled to be in fourth place, but not McDonald’s. The company is undergoing its most extensive store-by-store makeover in the chain’s 56-year history. Gone are the famous yellow and red interior colors. The fiberglass tables and steel chairs have also been removed. Instead, McDonald’s is adapting to a new era, creating an experience marked by muted colors, wooden tables and faux leather chairs. And, that’s just the beginning. McDonald’s is pouring $1 billion into redesigning the consumer experience. The goal is to provide create an elegant and upscale presence similar to that of Starbucks, Chipotle, and Panera Bread.
As Jim Carras, senior vice president of domestic restaurant development for McDonald’s told USA Today, “McDonald’s has to change with the times and we have to do so faster than we ever have before.”
Meanwhile, don’t expect Apple to slow down despite its newly-minted, first-place position. Apple will continue to innovate, even as the company mourns the loss of its chief visionary. Expect Apple to continue to inspire meaningful experiences, and establish a sense of unparalleled belonging. This is the charge of any brand that wants to stay at the top of the brand value list. In the face of digital Darwinism, reinvention, constant relevance, and perpetual value become the pillars for an adaptive business.
Everything begins with embracing a culture of innovation and adaptation — a culture that recognizes the impact of disruptive technology and how consumer preference and affinity is evolving. Social and mobile networks, tablets, smart phones, syndicated commerce, augmented reality, and gamification represent some of the game changers that businesses must either embrace or deeply study to determine bottom line impact. If a organizations cannot recognize opportunities to further compete for attention and relevance, it cannot, by default, create meaningful connections, a desirable brand or drive shareable experiences. The brand, as a result, will lost preference in the face of consumer choice, which may one day lead to its succumbing to digital Darwinism.
Perhaps Jobs said it best: “This is a very noisy world, so, we have to be very clear what we want them to know about us.”
I would just add…”and never stop.”]]>
Before we step into the future, I need to give you a little history to explain why there are three different names for the same concept. Retargeting was the original term for serving ads based on a searcher’s previous search history and it goes back about ten years.
Retargeting ad networks use terms like “cookie” and “pixel” for the snippet of code that allows them to serve ads to anyone who has previously visited a website, opened an email or been exposed to other opportunities where code can be inserted onto a landing page. Google uses the word remarketing for AdWords’ ability to serve ads through the Google Display Network to anyone who lands on a page that has an audience tag. Bing calls this same concept remessaging.
Consider the pop vs. soda graph. I live in Texas and have used the word “coke” my entire life even though the word coke really seems to represents one brand, Coca Cola. Historically, as the soda industry and technology changed and as new brands came into the market, new names and jargon inevitably popped up. This is essentially what we are seeing now with Google trying to make “remarketing” the coke of the retargeting industry. Bing is using the term remessaging to add their own unique flavor as well.
As search retargeting technology continues to improve, it is only a matter of time before Google launches their version of Search Remarketing. It only makes sense for Google to leverage the keyword data from their search engine and partners to show ads on their own display network.
Another element of search retargeting is the data coming from the search engines on sites already participating in AdSense. Once again, Google is positioned to take advantage of this data from Google’s Custom Search or Site Search products that are already available to anyone with a website.
With YouTube and AdMob, Google is positioned well in the video and mobile markets to expand and improve retargeting options in those areas. Because of the huge growth in both video and mobile advertising, it is highly likely that Google will be looking closer at video and mobile in the near future to launch new retargeting products and options.
Google is also likely to leverage their existing AdSense database and display network to develop or design new concepts around search retargeting and to improve the existing technology.
Bing currently offers Search Remessaging to advertisers but it is not yet available through their AdCenter platform. When a keyword search is done using Bing, the searcher is then tagged and shown retargeting ads on the Microsoft Media Network and on their partner sites.
Microsoft has an interesting network of products. Advertising is already integrated into a number of those products including Xbox games. Having access to large databases of users across a variety of interests could offer opportunities to build the Bing Remessaging audience in the near future.
Some search retargeting companies such as Simpli.fi have already started offering what they call instant retargeting. It starts when a searcher types in a keyword, is served search results and then clicks on a publisher who is already in the Simpli.fi ad network. That searcher could be instantly served a retargeting ad based on their search query.
Can you imagine the possibilities for this across some industries? Restaurants, airline tickets and other industries where the “now” factor is strong could set up instant campaigns where the ad only shows for the next 24 hours. Someone with a broken tooth or who is looking for 24-hour urgent care could be shown relevant, geo-targeted advertising instantaneously.
RadiumOne, a social retargeting company, recently raised 50M showing how big the interest is in combining retargeting with social marketing. That’s no surprise when you see Pinterest, Fancy, Gogobot and other fast growing sites entering the social landscape while major companies try their best to develop their own approach to turning those searchers into customers. Keep an eye out for more options for social retargeting along with more case studies and success stories. Social retargeting is and will continue to evolve at a very fast pace.
LocalResponse recently announced Intent Retargeting, a concept where marketers can respond in real time to customer intent. If someone posts “I’m hungry” on Twitter, it could result in a banner ad from Pizza Hut. Adchemy uses their technology to figure out why someone abandoned your shopping cart and what they were really looking for so you can retarget them with relevant ads.
With more intent marketing companies like Yieldbot moving into this space, expect Intent Retargeting to be a new buzzword. As much as I like this concept as an advertiser, it still sounds like the plot to a science fiction movie where a computer program tries to not only figure out what you are thinking but then turns around and gives it to you a few minutes later. Hmmm.
With the growing popularity of retargeting, new options and new retargeting companies are popping up almost every month now. The first round of retargeting companies and services focused on very broad based ad distribution. With the original broad retargeting strategies, if I visited the Ferrari website, their retargeting ads could be show on sites that have nothing to do with luxury cars, such as news sites or weather pages.
Companies like SalesBump want to change retargeting so that ads are only shown on relevant pages. With the more relevant strategy, if I visited the Academy sporting goods store’s site, their retargeting ads would only show when I visited sites relevant to sports.
I realize that many people don’t dream about the future of display advertising nor do they care about the impact and influence advertising has or will have on our society. But I do.
I don’t have a crystal ball to truly predict where the online advertising industry is headed but I can lay all the pieces of the industry puzzle on the table to see a pretty clear picture of what it might look like, especially for retargeting.
Please share your thoughts on where you think the concept of retargeting is headed.
Stock image from dreamstime.com, used under license.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.
If you have heard of or seen things like variations of the ‘keep calm’ sign (like ours pictured to the left), Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ video or Kony 2012 video, you are familiar with things that have gone viral. But can going viral translate to revenue when it comes to businesses? That is hard to say. But it does lead to increased exposure. Take the recent Olive Garden review by Marilyn Hagerty. It quickly made it’s way around the Internet becoming well known in a matter of days. This doesn’t mean that Olive Garden is suddenly at the top of the restaurants list, merely that review of Olive Garden has somehow managed to break through the clutter which is a positive and potentially profitable thing.
This is very different than the Mad Men days of advertising. Back then, popularity and exposure were left to the experts, thus controlling the message and not leaving much room for things to catch on due to the nature of the media. But can anyone or anything go viral? No. Unfortunately it is left up to the people to decide what goes viral and what doesn’t. In order for something to go viral, it has to be ‘share worthy’, or else people will not want to tag, share, re-pin or tweet it. However, if you do manage to go viral, it is one of the cheapest ways to gain exposure and drive traffic to your website.
Never fear, there are things you can do to help with going viral:
Doing these things doesn’t always mean you will go viral, but in the event that you do, make the most of it!]]>
G&W is excited to brand the new Raleigh based group buying site ‘DiveInDeals’. We decided to go with a retro logo to play on the fun social side of group buying deals.
SEO can either be organic or inorganic. Organic SEO is where keywords are built into the code of the website. Inorganic SEO is pay per click such as Google Ad-Words (ads that appear on the side of Google) or Facebook Ads. Inorganic is far more focused on a particular audience while organic targets all users searching for certain terms. A mixture of both organic and inorganic is the best to attract the most users.
Anyone who has had a html or flash website knows that it is very expensive to update (unless you know html or flash yourself). Luckily, there are now different options for companies when it comes to building a website. One of the fastest growing trends has been for companies to use content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla. CMS websites offer a cost-effective alternative to the older style websites with many other added benefits.
When you log into the back end of a CMS website, it looks similar to Microsoft Word. You can change text very easily and add pictures or links within seconds. It allows for people who are not web experts, to be able to update/edit their websites themselves without having to pay a web programmer to change something as simple as a word or two in a sentence.
Here are some benefits of using CMS websites:
1. Allows customization and is user friendly
2. Lower cost versus HTML/Flash site
CMS websites usually come in pre-built templates that can be customized for your company. This will significantly decrease the programmer time involved to make your website which is where the largest amount of cost comes from when designing a new website.
3. Built on up-to-date PHP technology and attached to a robust SQL database
CMS websites incorporate the same coding as regular websites and can include many different languages to make the site more fancy or user friendly.
4. Good for Search Engine Optimization
Websites that are constantly updated have a better chance at being found when people use search engines. Search Engines try and leave out dated websites that have not been well kept. CMS websites make it very easy to write blogs and edit information whicy increases your chances of being closer to the top when people are searching for things on the Internet.
5. Has thousands of plug-ins available
There are many plug-in options to make your site more customized. This includes things as calenders, Google analytics, rotating text, etc.
6. Can be updated and changed anytime, anywhere there is internet access
CMS websites can be accessed from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection 24 hours a day.
Here are a few examples of CMS websites we have created for our clients:
Q. Is it a good idea to use Social Networking sites for my company?
A. With the growth of social networking, this is a very important question. A social network service focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, for example, who share interests and/or activities. It is absolutely a good idea to get your company onto social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Here are several advantages to consider when thinking about signing up for social networking sites:
1. Free to sign up and create an account.
2. Reaches multiple audiences.
3. Encourages constant interaction with clients.
4. Allows people to constantly see what is new with your business.
5. Lets clients/customers provide feedback.
6. Great way to raise company awareness and build Brand image.
7. People can gain access through mobile devices.
If you are not ready to tackle social networking on your own but want to get your company name out there, G&W is here to help! We have helped many of our clients build and maintain Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.
G&W can give you a personalized proposal. We have worked with companies of all sizes in many industries. Call 908-722-3534 to speak with one of our advertising and marketing experts directly.
Keep your questions coming! Visit our website to ask us your advertising and marketing questions and you might just have it answered in one of our weekly newsletters.
G&W has set-up Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn for many of our clients. We can populate the site with all of your company info as well as adding pictures and asking all of our clients to become a fan/follow your page. Contact us today to get a free marketing consultation and proposal.
For more information please contact us at email@example.com or 800-501-2045. Remember, we offer our clients a ‘Guaranteed Wow’!
Galvanek & Wahl Ad Agency
842 New Charleston Dr.
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
Phone: (800) 501-2045
There are tons of different ways to give back. One of those ways is through events used raise money/raise company awareness. Each industry has different event possibilities that make sense. For example, if you run a music store, a charity concert would work. Or if you own a clothing store, a fashion show is appropriate. However, the most important parts is that you do something that involves the community and advertise the event so people know about it. A great way to do this is by involving the press. Writing press releases and submitting them to local publications as well as reaching out to local news stations is a great way to get attention from the community. Other easy forms of advertising events are utilizing social media outlets as well as posters, flyers, newsletters, etc.
Examples of events/activities that work well for fundraisers/charity events:
- Sporting Event, Tournament or Race
- Fashion Shows
- Charity Dance of Ball
- Benefit Concert
Deciding on an organization to benefit is also important. Try and choose one that is important to you or your company. Also remember to look to the local community. Giving back to the people, places and companies are you is very important and appreciated. A great place to start looking is with local area schools. Budget cuts have been hard for schools and has caused gaps in funds needed to maintain/update their property or equipment.
Take Strafe Gaming Lounge for example, this year they decided they wanted to give back to their community. They decided that they wanted to have a Zombie 5k run, which related to their business (video game lounge) and is something fun and exciting. After deciding they wanted to do it, they then needed to pick their cause. Instead of going for a national organization, they decided to donate to a local High School that was in need for funding for new technology. By doing this, it creates a win-win scenario. Although it is a lot of work, in the end the High School will have more money to get things they need and Strafe gets their name out all at the same time while also creating a memorable event that locals can participate in.
The Strafe Zombie Run takes place this Saturday, 10/29/11 at 8:30 AM in Fuquay-Varina, NC. For more information on the Strafe Zombie Run or to register/volunteer/donate, visit www.strafezombierun.com.]]>
We have developed the perfect solution to this problem. Introducing InterACT, our cutting-edge interactive online video tour application that not only engages and interacts with your online visitors, but also effectively presents your business’s core messaging and values. It provides the customer with a unique and memorable experience, making it likely that they will return and spread the word. Would you rather read through lots of text, or click through a presentation where information is both accessible and visually pleasing? I think we all know the answer.
The Peddie School of Hightstown, NJ contracted G&W to develop of fully interactive online tour that would educate and engage potential students. G&W developed the creative concept, managed all production, and developed their unique online tour application. The G&W development team worked closely with the Peddie Admissions Department to ensure that all core messaging was incorporated into the film segments and our design team worked closely with the Peddie IT department to ensure the application worked seamlessly on the Peddie School servers. The online tour application contains a map of the school grounds, 9 clickable areas, 37 video clips, and the ability to navigate around the school grounds by clicking on areas of interest.
Please feel free to take the online Peddie tour: http://www.peddie.org/InteractiveTour/index.html
Our newest InterACT project
Kinetic Physical Therapy with locations in Ramsey, NJ and Park Ridge, NJ contracted us for a variety of projects. The project they were undoubtedly most excited about was the InterACT online tour of their facilities. The online tour gives them a unique edge over their competition, engages clients and visitors to their site and ensures customers that they are keeping up with the newest and greatest technology and equipment available in the physical therapy field. G&W developed the creative concept, managed all production, and developed their unique online tour application. The G&W development team worked closely with KineticPT to ensure that all of KineticPT’s unique techniques and equipment were featured and highlighted in the film segments to showcase the unique benefits and experience clients will receive when utilizing its exciting facilities for their physical therapy needs.
Please stop by KineticPT and take the online tour!: http://www.kineticpt.com/interact/
Please contact G&W to discuss how a uniquely interactive online tour can add to your business’s professionalism and entice a new generation of visitors and customers. After an initial discussion and review, your company will receive a free evaluation and project proposal. Here at G&W, we offer our clients a Guaranteed Wow!]]>
Here are a few reasons why we think promo products are useful:
1) Provides a Tangible Reminder To Clients and/or Potential Clients
Having something that you can touch and hold makes it easier for people to remember company name and phone number. A light bulb may go off in his/her head at some point when they see or use the promo product that will remind him/her of your company. Although business cards are often a tangible leave behind, they really only have one use and a lot of times get lost under something or end up in the trash can.
2) Promo Products Make Great “Thank you” for Employees and Clients
Thanking your frequent customers or hard-working employees is always a good idea. Both customers and employees both like to feel appreciated and giving them promotional products will not only make them happy but can also help grow your business!
3) Draw People to Your Trade Show Booth
For those of you that attend trade shows and have booths, there will be lots of potential customers milling around and having free promotional products can draw them in to your booth. The more catchy slogans and/or unique products will make people more inclined to not only visit your booth but remember your company. Think outside the box!
4) Can Add to Your Brand Recognition by Providing a Lasting Impression
You put a lot of time, thought and money into your brand. The more exposure it gets and the more things you put it on, the better. Nike did not become associated with their Nike swoop overnight. It took a lot of marketing and a lot of work to get people to associate the name with just the icon. Of course not all of us can become Nike, however, by getting your brand out there is a step in the right direction to getting people to recognize the icon/colors/logo.
5) Cross Promoting Charitable Events
It is great to provide community support and/or raise money for a good cause. If you are participating in a charity event, promo products are perfect! What better way to let people know that your company supports the cause.
6) Business to Business Marketing Plus
If you have seen tissues boxes or pens at doctor’s offices with pharmaceutical logos and branding, you have seen this at its best. When working for a company that markets business to business, what better way to stand out than to leave behind a promo product instead of the typical (but still important) business card! We actually went to a client pitch meeting one time and the client told us that she loved our pens and that she would always look for them when grabbing for a pen which means that G&W is fresh in her mind every time she uses our pen.
There are MANY options when it comes to promo products. The more you buy, the higher discount you get. As you increase the quantity, the per unit price drops dramatically which means more products can go out to more people for less. As a registered ASI member, G&W is able to get large discounts which we can then pass on to our customers. If you are interested in getting a free price quote on promotional products or any other marketing services, contact G&W today. Remember…we offer our clients a ‘Guaranteed Wow‘!]]>
Rebranding can be a gamble. It can refresh your company and bring it current or it can confuse and irritate customers. Recently Gap took that gamble an unveiled a new logo. The new logo attempted to keep an element of the iconic logo that has defined the brand for 20 years, a white background with black letters and a little blue shaded box in the upper right hand corner. Customers were not happy to say the least. The new logo received negative public outcry from customers on the social media circuit and it is no surprise why. The logo looked like something my six year old daughter could have made on the paint program. Customers on Gap’s Facebook page even went as far as to say that if they kept the new look that they would no longer be buying clothes at the store. Gap has since decided to stick with the old logo and has pulled all plans to unveil it at their stores.
The new logo even inspired a website where you can “Crap Logo Yourself.” You enter your own text and you will get a logo inspired by Gap’s lame attempt at a new logo. To crap your own logo go to: http://craplogo.me/
The attempt at changing the logo was partly fueled by Gap’s sales figures which were down 4% this year following a 10% decline the year before. But before panicking and grasping at straws to increase sales, companies need to consider all of the reasons that sales might be down including recessions, lack of discounts or coupons, off-trend products or the amount of advertising they are utilizing.
So what lessons can we learn from this marketing disaster?
1. Social Media is a Powerful Force
With the age of instant communication with cell phones and social media sites the era of rebranding in a board room without customer feedback is over. Companies should view this as a blessing instead of a curse because they can save tons of money by finding out that their design is going to tank before they change all of their signs, products and such. Back in the “old days” companies wouldn’t find out that their attempt at rebranding failed until their quarterly sales numbers came back. With Facebook and Twitter customers are more engaged than ever with their favorite companies and products and they aren’t afraid to share their opinions. Utilize these outlets to gain customer feedback, take polls and test your new ideas before making a final decision. After all if your customers aren’t happy, nobody is happy.
2. Don’t Take Your Customers for Fools
Although most of your customers probably aren’t graphic designers by trade, the technology on the internet and home computers is so advanced these days that a novice can design a pretty decent logo at home with a few hours practice. Bottom line – they can recognize “lame work”.
3. For Rebranding to Work it Takes More Than Just a New Logo
This is something we emphasize with all of our clients who are branding or rebranding. A brand is NOT just a logo. A brand is your products, color scheme and the general feel of your company. If you think you can just change your logo and something magical will happen with your sales you are sadly mistaken. Rebranding does work but it takes a major overhaul of your website, print materials and consideration of whether or not your products or services are current and what customers want.
4. As the Old Saying Goes “If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It
Gap’s logo is about as iconic as they come. It’s classic styling and simplicity will probably never go out of style. I’m not saying that the company should never consider rebranding, but maybe they should listen to their customers and rebrand when they suggest that it is getting stale.]]>
1. Your competition isn’t advertising. Just imagine if you do, you will be the one getting the only people who actually are buying.
2. People aren’t buying on impulse as much as in the past. They are doing their research first, especially online. Having an eye-pleasing, current website which comes up high in the search engines (Good SEO), offers something different from your competition is a must. If you don’t have a website yet, or your website hasn’t been updated in years, now is the time to act.
3. You can possibly get stellar deals and discounts. Not only that if the advertising agency isn’t very busy you will get their undivided attention.
4. If you skimp on advertising you could actually be left further behind than you were in the first place. You need to keep pushing forward even if it feels financially painful at the moment. Believe me, it will pay off in the end.
5. If you are investing in SEO as part of your marketing plan, you will be the first noticed online when customers do their research about where to buy.
Examples of recession advertising success:
Your gut and your wallet is telling you not to advertise. This is one of those occasions that you need to resist your gut feelings. If you don’t increase your advertising the simple fact is that you WILL suffer in the long run.]]>