Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Marketing Question of the Week: What should I post on social media when I attend a conference or professional event?

There’s no doubt that social media has changed the whole vibe of your company’s conferences or other industry events. And most would say for the better. (Unless you’re attending the Cave Dweller’s Conference.)

Using social media - and certainly LIVE social media - can be a cool way to get the word out and connect with new people, while building your online community.

So for this question, the team turned to Kara Grupe (our social media Girl Friday) and me (one of the humble writers) to give our insights.

In terms of what specifically to post while at a conference, Kara stresses the importance of taking pictures and shooting video.

She advises that you include the following in your social media posts:

        A photo of your company’s booth at the event both with and without your co-workers
        A photo of your company’s logo/banner/advertisement somewhere around the expo center
        A photo of an employee of your company interacting with a current client or potential customer
        A short video of a new product launch in action
        A short video of a speech/educational course
        Log on to Facebook to “Check-In” at the event venue or conference.

Then post the pictures while you’re in the midst of the action, as well as after you return.

And I’m gonna advise you to hold on to those pictures and videos because you’ll want to create a post-conference summary post for your blog or newsletter that you can share on social media. By doing this, other attendees can share the content and you can keep the conversation going long after the conference.

Finally, as far as platforms go, Twitter seems to be the go-to for conference attendees because you can follow conversations in areas where you can’t be, stay up-to-date with happenings at the event and even allow you to directly connect with speakers. So pay extra attention to posting on Twitter.

So that’s what we got for ya this week. Keep the questions coming! 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Marketing Question of the Week: Why is logo design such an important part of marketing your brand?

Marketing Question of the Week

Your logo is just one piece of your branding strategy. And though its size and its tendency to tuck itself into a corner may make it seem inconsequential, your logo is no wallflower.

In essence, your logo is a small ad for your company. It’s true.

And once you have well-developed branding strategy, your logo portrays your values and your goals, while conveying the message of your company.

And it does this universally.

“A logo done and standardized for a company service or product provides continuity and consistency across all platforms,” says John LeDuc, founder of LeDuc Creative and designer extraordinaire. “Since digital advertising has become so text driven, the logo serves even more to bring in that continuity.”

A well executed logo design (with the right colors, appropriate font, etc.) creates confidence in your brand. At the same time, this quiet little graphic can speak volumes in differentiating you from your competitors.

Your logo is how consumers recognize and respond to your company. An evergreen design that stands the test of time (think IBM or Shell) reflects not just the strength your brand, but also its growth.

Bottom line?

Your logo will help keep your brand message consistent while establishing and increasing consumer recognition.

University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr once said that consistency is the greatest measure of performance. “And that’s what a logo does for a brand,” John adds. “It helps the message of the brand perform.” 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Marketing Question of the Week: If I don’t sell a product, do I need to be doing AdWords?

If I don’t sell a product, do I need to be doing AdWords?

A lot of people aren’t really clear on what Google AdWords is. Or does. As a writer and mere mortal, I cast myself among the clueless. So in my own quest for clarity, I turned to our Google AdWords expert, Kara Grupe.

She gave me this little morsel:

“While you can use Google ads to sell goods and products, it's only one aspect of the AdWords platform. AdWords can be used to capture almost any type of search traffic on the web, extending beyond searches made in For example, you can use it to promote an event, boost your brand recognition with image ads, encourage people to sign up for your company newsletter, or capture the attention of people searching for your company's services.”

I nodded, tapping my index finger thoughtfully against my chin. That all sounded good and I knew it would check out. Kara’s no slouch.

And just to prove it, she explained further.

She said that one of the key components of success in Google AdWords is in the Quality Score. Quality Score is basically how well an ad group, keywords, ad and landing page relate to what a person is searching for AND how likely that person is to click on the ad.

See, every time someone does a search on Google, a unique AdWords auction is created.

Every advertiser who has a keyword match to the search query then competes in the auction. The process continues from there. To get a clearer understanding, you can click here. But the word on the street is that Google AdWords is the cat’s pajamas, daddy-o. (And that the street is clearly from the 1920s.)

Why is Google AdWords so effective for marketing your business online? Among other things, it’s completely measurable and cost-effective. It has maximum relevance and is highly targeted.

It should be obvious at this point that Google AdWords is a highly effective tool. But do you need to be doing it? Well, no.

Is it a good idea to be doing it? Absolutely.

A really good idea, in fact. So why not give it a try?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Navigating Wants Vs. Needs In the Client and Ad Agency Relationship

Relationships are challenging.

If they were easy, there wouldn’t be millions of books available on how to survive them.

And the relationship between an ad agency and the client is no exception. Particularly when the client has an opinion about what he or she wants, and the agency has a differing opinion about what they believe the client needs. It’s the whole wants vs. needs debate.

So who’s right?

In terms of marketing and advertising, there’s no definitive answer to the wants vs. needs conundrum.   

Yes, it’s true that most clients seek out ad agencies to provide direction and expertise. And the agencies deliver on those. But there are times when clients hire ad agencies with the sole intent of using that expertise to fulfill their wishes. This is where things get dicey.

Beyond campaign performance, an ad agency is also judged on strategy, customer service and comfort within the working relationship. With all of this on the line, it can be difficult for the agency to offer the client alternative opinions based on what the agency believes the client needs - regardless of how tactfully it’s done.

Especially if the agency follows the ancient tenet of basic customer service - “the customer is always right.”

But when an ad agency works hard to stay current with the marketplace and methods for how to drive success, the resistance to guidance for optimal results feels like a lot of wasted energy and resources.

This is NOT to say, however, that the client is wrong. There is often a legitimate need behind what the client wants. It takes time to unearth it though.

The problem with focusing on wants vs. needs is that if left unchecked, the ad agency and the client become pinned against one another.

The agency is frustrated that their experience and expertise are not being utilized, while the client feels increasingly isolated and stressed about spending money. This is NO environment for creating successful strategies and campaigns.

And it needn’t ever come to this.

When a client is transparent and forthcoming with their goals, it is the job of the ad agency to LISTEN to what the client wants and problem solve from that point rather than bombard the client with their opinion of what the client needs. 

That’s why an ad agency will generally have the most positive influence on a client’s business when they take the time to get to know the client, to truly listen and to be involved with the development of strategy.

The murky waters of wants vs. needs then become much clearer.

So see, it’s not so much that the client doesn’t know what he or she needs. It’s just that solving a need feels a lot more challenging and overwhelming than fulfilling a want.

An ad agency that is attentive to the client and strives to build a strong partnership will be able to enact the process of getting the client what he or she needs, by fulfilling what he or she wants.

And if the ad agency and client can’t get beyond the wants vs. needs conundrum, well, it may just be a sign that it’s not a good fit and it’s time to move on.

Not all relationships work out. Despite all the literature.