Posts tagged: advertising

Here’s How You Can Market to Multiple Niche Groups

Just about any successful business owner knows that you have to market to your niche, you can’t create marketing that appeals to everyone, because, in the end, it will appeal to no one. But just because you’re marketing to niches doesn’t mean you have to market to just one.

In fact, marketing to multiple niche groups or target markets can actually be more effective than honing in on one singular segment of the market for obvious reasons… and when you think about it, isn’t that what big corporations do every day? Don’t believe it, watch multiple commercials for McDonalds and you’ll find they appeal to different groups, parents, kids, teens, even older people all have their own McDonalds commercials…why can’t you?

Marketing to a broader audience allows for more variance in your marketing campaign. Instead of desperately trying to get in the head of a very small portion of the population, you have the opportunity to reach a much larger audience that can subsequently lead to more profits, but each message has to be tailored for the specific group.

Of course undertaking this can be a massive project and you don’t have the marketing team that McDonalds does, but it should be something to think about when you create your next campaign. This needs to be a strategic process with consistent thought put in. As mentioned, target marketing one than one niche group can be more effective than going after one group, but the process of doing so can be complicated at least until you become familiar with it. In other words, switching gears from a marketing campaign with an emphasis on one demographic can be a drastic change. Essentially, you will be asking your marketing team to perform double (or times the number of niche groups) the market research and other aspects involved with your campaign.

The best way to get your marketing team on board for targeting more than one niche is to split up the team members, assigning small groups of them to research each niche. Once the marketing research has been done, then you can begin to devise your plan about implementing your advertising toward those niche groups, including which promotions, placement and other aspects of marketing will be most effective in your campaign.

Branding or leads? What’s more important?

What is more important to a business … building a brand or getting more leads?

Ad agencies, who love to spend their client’s money, would immediately respond “branding.”

In that mindset it’s easy to think, without a brand, how do you drive customers to your business?

But if you’re business is concerned with cashflow, profits and the bottom line you have to view it differently. You have to ask yourself, without leads, how do you build a brand?

If you are building a business through systemized marketing, getting new customers isn’t about “creative” or high concept layouts, it’s about generating leads for as little money as you can, and even at a profit, if possible.

When you start to look at marketing this way, it simply becomes a matter of math. If your ads generate cost effective leads for your business, you’ve got a good ad. If it doesn’t generate cost effective leads, you don’t.

This is a hard lesson for a lot of people to deal with, especially those that want to make a statement with their advertising.

But if you start to adopt a truly marketing-driven business mindset, you’ll soon realize you care less about being creative and more about the tactics and strategies that will drive leads into your company … at a profit.

That’s the only way to turn your marketing “expenses” into “investments” and the only way to start buying customers that give you a great return on investment over time.

If you still aren’t sure, ask yourself, how many of us could afford to continually buy a share of stock for $10 and sell it for $5? Obviously that’s not a sound business move, but far too many business owners continue to buy an ad or run a marketing campaign that doesn’t make them money.

When it comes to branding or leads the conversation should be about Investment and Expense, because, if you get enough leads and enough business, you’ll build the best kind of brand there is: a company that is loved by your loyal customers.

Edgy Ads Look Cool, But Simple Sells

What is the purpose of advertising?

If you are to believe the advertising agencies, advertising is an art. Their goal is to make something interesting and make an impression on the audience.

But, for a business, the goal is sales. You might make a big impression, but if that impression doesn’t help the bottom line, what’s the point?

This principle is on display in Burger King’s advertising.

After going with “The King” based campaign that was weird and, at times, a bit freaky, Burger King has decided to go back to the basics and promote the freshness and quality of their food.

In today’s health conscious landscape the new campaign seems like a good idea and the company is already seeing some benefits.

BrandIndex measures brands using its Impression score, by asking people if they have generally positive feelings about a particular brand. BrandIndex’s scores range from -100 to 100, and are calculated by subtracting negative feedback from positive feedback.

Before the launch of Burger King’s new campaign in late August, Burger King’s Impression score was 24.4, or less than half McDonald’s’ 48.9.

Burger King’s score began jumping soon after the first spot’s debut, and by the end of August had reached 45.1, actually catapulting McDonald’s.

As of Sept. 9, Burger King still retained its edge, with a rating of 38.8 compared to 35.9 for McDonald’s.

This highlights the divide between what advertisers want to do and what businesses need to do.

Burger King’s “The King” campaign was edgy, at times funny and at times just plain weird. But what did it tell people about the product?

Nothing.

It created an impression, but hurt the company’s image with adults and others that don’t care about slick advertising, but do care about quality.

So when it comes time for you to advertise your business, what’s more important, flash or sales?

The answer is obvious so don’t try to be flashy or cutting edge. Just tell people what you do and why it’s better than the competition.

For Burger King, that’s letting people know they sell a quality product, a much more effective offer than some constantly smiling, nightmarish mascot.

Does Your Marketing Take the Bull by Its Horns?

When a business is marketed correctly, it isn’t based on price or even what is sold. Instead it’s based on the reputation of the brand itself and how that image connects with the customer base.

Take Red Bull for example. A couple of decades ago the energy drink industry was a very small one that was dominated by Gatorade while coffee was the energy drink of the working man and maybe a cola could provide that boost of caffeine you might need late in the day. Plus a cola tasted good.

Then along came Red Bull. Red Bull was the first energy drink of note and it had a strange taste people weren’t used to at the time. What Red Bull did have was a great way to connect with the customers they wanted and they also had a growing target market.

Over the last few decades, more and more people became adrenaline junkies or developed a taste for “extreme” sports.

Skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and others were growing in popularity and the people that took part in those activities were exactly who Red Bull wanted as their customers.

So how did they connect with them?

They reached into that community and played an active role in building it. They sponsored both athletes and events, putting the culture on a bigger stage than it had ever been. Soon events like the “X-Games” were on television and there were the ubiquitous Red Bull signs in the background at all of these events. In fact, Red Bull began to sponsor, and produce, many of the events themselves.

Today, more than two decades after selling their first energy drink, Red Bull sponsors literally hundreds of “extreme” athletes.

They also sponsor a number of events around the world, including auto, motorcycle and plane racing, and their own “World Series” events such as The Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series and The Red Bull Air Race World Championship.They even produce a monthly magazine that targets extreme athletes.

With all of the events and marketing that Red Bull does, it is important to remember that Red Bull only sells four products, their original energy drink, their sugar-free energy drink, Red Bull Energy Shot and Red Bull Cola.

Yet they sponsor hundreds, if not thousands of events every year in promoting and selling those four products and they are successful (over 4.2 billion cans of Red Bull sold last year alone) because they connect with their target market while building an image much bigger than that of just an energy drink.

With this kind of focus on both product and customer Red Bull has been able to expand not only its business, but the entire “extreme” sports category, creating an ideal synergy between their product’s image and their customer base.

Don’t Waste Your Resources on Ads That Don’t Work

Did you read a newspaper this morning?

Now quickly, how many ads do you recall right now?

Consider this story.

An advertising agency has scheduled a team meeting. As the team filed into the seminar room they were all given a copy of that morning’s paper.

While they were waiting, most of them read it.

Of 100 ad agency people, only three remembered an advertisement. And that was within half-an-hour of reading the paper!

Of those three, only one was thinking about taking any action. She was studying a furniture sale ad — because she was planning to buy some furniture. The ad had not persuaded her to buy furniture, since she was already in the market, so what good did it really do?

It makes you wonder if any of the agency’s work was in that paper. It is also a clear example of why certain ads don’t work.

Ask yourself, do your ads stand out?

Are they noticed and remembered?

Do they stir people to action?

Do they drive people to buy from you?

Or when potential customers come to your ad do they simply turn the page?

In many respects, advertisers are the world’s greatest contributors to “charity”.

Lord Lever of Lever & Kitchen, which is now Unilever, once said he knew only half of his advertising worked, but he didn’t know which half.

This statement has also been attributed to John Wanamaker and Henry Ford, but whoever said it originally, the point is clear, advertising can be a drain on resources if you don’t have a focus on who you want to reach and how you are going to reach them.

Most advertisers aren’t even doing as well as half, because they are more concerned with winning awards than generating customers.

Nobody can be perfect with their marketing all the time, but by testing and measuring the response to your advertising you’ll soon know which ads are working, and which are merely a donation to the medium which you’re using.

Don’t Have Customers Do Your Business’ Job

UK is struggling through some tough times, but that still shouldn’t mean consumers should be helping companies with their marketing efforts.

Mediabistro.com obtained a real open letter “to all of advertising and marketing” from a consumer in the UK. Read how he feels about ads that ask him to work even more than he already does.

As a business owner, can you use the feedback from this letter to help your own business’ advertising and marketing efforts?

Myspace to Make a Comeback?

Can MySpace make a comeback?

Can MySpace make a comeback?

MySpace has been considered dead for a while now among the social media-savvy. But could MySpace make a comeback?

Five years ago, News Corp. acquired MySpace for $580 million…and then the losses came. Although MySpace Music is listed as the number one music site from comScore, it’s had a steady decrease in popularity since News Corp. has owned the site.

News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said, “We’ve got to admit that during the last two or three years, I think we made some big mistakes. But we’ve got fine new management now; they’ve started to introducing new features. There’ll be a lot of changes coming through the summer. The early indications—and they’re only early indications—are we’re getting more visitors and they’re staying longer. When that gets more substantial, we’ll get more advertising.”

News Corp. has also called MySpace a “work in progress,” as it plays with its number one music platform ranking to try to get back on top of the social media scene, and plans to roll out a number of enhancements to the site in the next few sites.

What do you think? Can MySpace regain its status in the social media site scene?

Turning a Negative into a Positive

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week – Domino’s Pizza
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

Any business owner would agree, it takes a lot of strength to admit to the world that a product or service has been dissatisfying to the customer. It’s a bit of a blow to the owner’s ego, and not only that, but it could be detrimental to the business.

But Domino’s Pizza has shown how admitting its own faults can benefit the business…as long as it’s spun the right way.

Domino’s Pizza recently started a huge campaign where it admitted that many people across America were not fans of their pizza. From showing hidden footage shot in focus groups and feedback from customers, Domino’s Pizza was outing themselves as a sub-par pizza company.

But with this campaign, they’re advertising that they’ve changed their pizza recipe for the better. They admit their old pizza was bad, their new pizza is good, and they’re catching people’s reactions on camera.

This is a clever way to take a negative and make it a positive, but it’s risky — after admitting their old pizza was bad in national ads, there’s no taking it back. And if Domino’s new pizza wasn’t an improvement, it was a failed ad campaign.

In business coaching, coaches often have to work with clients through difficult situations — like customers not liking a company’s main product — and help turn them into positive situations, or situations that create profit, as in Domino’s case.

The plus of a risky campaign like this? It’s hard to make fun of the company and actually offend them because, well, they’re insulting themselves. Take the above clip from the Colbert Report. Domino’s has to agree that every word Colbert said is true, which sums up the message of the entire campaign: their old pizza was bad, but they’ve learned from their mistake…and the new pizza is heaps better.

Blogs Gaining Traction as a Marketing Tool

Blogging is a new way to market a business.

Blogging is a new way to market a business.

If you’ve been following this business coach blog, you know blogs are gaining more and more traction as a legitimate marketing tool in the business world, as well as a legitimate news source for journalists. They are far-reaching and cheap to produce and to maintain. They’re not a substitute for traditional marketing materials like press releases and direct mail, but they do provide a way to reach a mass amount of people in a short amount of time that can be well worth your investment.

Blogging or being a guest blogger on a reputable website will increase business visibility, increase leads and add revenue. All you have to do is write a blog every few days.

If you want to set up your own blog, here are a few quick tips to get you started:

Choose a Blogging Platform: Choose an easy to use blogging platform to start writing for. WordPress and Clearspace are some good ones that are clear and easy to figure out.

Figure out Blog Ideas: Some content ideas for your blog might include industry trends, hot topic news, interviews with other industry leaders, your position on industry issues or innovations, book and article reviews, and lessons learned related to subjects that might be important to your readers. Think about what lessons you’ve learned along the way, and shed light on the complexities of running a small business.

Be a Credible Source: Remember that as soon as you put something in writing on the Internet, it’s out there for all to see. So be careful about what you write and make sure you’ve done adequate research and covered all your bases.

Learn How to Engage your Readers: Your blog’s success will depend on the number of readers you have. Increasing readers is all about motivating them to come back time and again. Make sure your blog is structured in a way that’s easy to navigate on your site. Besides useful information, a little humor never hurts. Think about linking to other blogs you enjoy reading that relate to what you’re blogging about, and establish links to monthly archives.

Happy blogging!

Bizarre Can Be Good and Bad

Ad campaigns are meant t to stick in your head so you remember the product they’re selling. That’s why when an ad is controversial or deemed “dumb,” advertising agencies generally like both responses because it means people are talking about it and also the product it was intended to sell.

However, these ad campaigns are just plain bizarre. And we’re not sure their bizarreness helped sell the product. Well, it definitely didn’t in #10. Check out the Top 10 bizarre ad campaigns here.