Branding Doesn’t Grow on Trees.

The year was 1973. I begged my parents for a pair of sneakers (yes, I grew up in Upstate NY where “tennis shoes” are called sneakers). They weren’t just any pair of sneakers – they were Converse high tops, and they were more expensive than any pair of shoes I had ever owned.

After I asked for at least the tenth time, my mom said -“money doesn’t grow on trees.” I would not only hear that phrase many more times, but a few other “mom-isms” that still resonate in my mind today. When we meet with a prospective clients, one of the questions we get asked is ‘how soon will my ads start working?” Fair and honest question.

Most of our clients don’t have the budget of JCPenney, when their President once said -“Half of my advertising doesn’t work, I just don’t know which half.” Marketers need to see results sooner than later, and definitely have more than half their ad budget working. Of course, JCPenny didn’t have digital marketing back then, which would have allowed them to track everything. After we define the expectations of the marketing campaign, we develop a strategy with the goals of the client in mind. Fortunately, the “mom-isms” that we may have all heard, can ring true in our marketing.

TV, Radio, Print & Digital Marketing Take Time to Work

For many, it’s like the age old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” When you prepare for your digital marketing campaign, which is more important, SEO or SEM? The simple answer: both.

“Branding Doesn’t Grow on Trees.”

Who would have thought this famous “mom” line would relate to your marketing results? If an advertising agency / digital marketing firm tells you they can get you immediate results, be suspicious. Yes, marketing results take time. We have all heard it, but deep down as a business owner, we want to see immediate results.

A few things to keep in mind when developing a marketing campaign, whether it be mass media, digital marketing or a campaign developed by a media buying agency:

  • Define Expectations and Develop Goals: This goes for each aspect of your marketing campaigns throughout the year. New product, new service, one time sale, long-term branding campaign – each has separate expectations and goals.
  • Determine Budget: Start with sales goals and work your way back to annual budget. Percentages of ad budget vs sales goals vary by industry and market.
  • Develop a Marketing Plan: A word of caution – don’t be tempted to stretch your dollars too thin. How many times have we heard – “can we stretch this budget out over the quarter instead of one month?”
  • Direct Public: Write ad copy that bonds with your customers and invites them to do business with you.

    “If Johnny Jumped Off a Bridge, Would You Jump Too?”.=

I heard this line from my mom when I told her that every other kid at school was buying these Converse sneakers. As an advertising agency, one of the first things we discuss with our clients is competition separation. Do you tell YOUR story in your adverting?  When you finish writing a commercial – can you replace your name with a competitors name?

How Can Your Digital Advertising Achieve Better Results?

Does This Look Clean to You?

I always thought my mom was talking about my room, but little did I know she was teaching me a valuable marketing lesson. White space in a digital, print or outdoor ad is your friend. It is tempting to try and add one more piece of information in your ad – store hours, location, website, phone number (make it big and bold), offer, disclaimer, how long you’ve been in business, logo, BBB logo – you get the idea. You have less than 3 seconds to keep their attention. Grab their attention and they will google you for all the details.

Find The Frequency For Your Marketing Budget

“If I Told You Once, I Told You A Thousand Times!”

I can’t remember how many times my mom used this phrase when she was trying to get my attention! Once again, she was teaching a great marketing and branding lesson I would come to use in our Columbus Ohio advertising agency. We have heard countless times from our clients when they talk about digital marketing and advertising mediums they used in the past. Whether it was Television, Radio, Magazines or even Digital ads – they would say “I tried ________, and it doesn’t work”.

Once we dig deeper the lack of results from their advertising comes down to two things: Saying the wrong thing in the commercial, and not saying it enough times.

How many times do you have to tell your kids to do something? How about employees? Do they hear everything and respond the first time? Not usually. It’s more like 3 times. In marketing we call that the rule of 3. Frequency, Frequency, Frequency. You may have a great story, but if you don’t say it enough times, nobody is going to hear it.

When your ads will start working also depends on several variables, which we will cover more in depth in our next blog. Transactional vs. Relational, Purchase pattern, and competition are only a few of the factors.

In the meantime, take the advice of mom’s everywhere and know that branding takes time – because it certainly doesn’t grow on trees.

Contact us if you want more information about digital marketing and how to make the most of it.

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