Display Network Advertising

Today’s one minute marketing tip is about Digital Advertising and display network advertising. 

I was asked recently about online display network advertising. That’s having ads with graphics and text that are clickable to a website or landing page with an offer or more information. They appear on websites, social media, and in apps.

An Integrated Digital Plan with Display Network Advertising

Display network advertising is only one of multiple digital strategies that are effective when integrated and correctly applied to meet the advertiser’s sales and financial goals. We’ll go over a few of the digital tools here, there are others… schedule a call to discuss your situation.

Using display network advertising alone is like saying about traditional advertising: “I only use ads on one radio station”. It can be effective to a point but it is not an integrated advertising plan. 

Other Digital Tactics to Integrate

A few of the other digital tactics that work in tandem with display are Pay Per Click or PPC ads (what are typically thought of as Google search results ads), re-targeting or re-marketing ads (which are typically thought of as those annoying ads that follow you around after you visit a website), Over the Top or OTT video (which is advertising through streaming services that target both cable subscribers that are using streaming devices and cordcutters with ads during video and movie content), and On-site Search Engine Optimization (which – among other things – is consistently posting relevant content, video and more to your website to move higher in Google organic search results). And there are other digital tactics as well. 

Define a Goal, Budget, Message and Call to Action… a Plan!

The key to advertising success in any media is having a plan which includes a defined goal, a budget, a good message, and a clear call-to-action. 

The key to advertising in the digital display space is applying the above plus having a fast fulfillment of the call-to-action once the prospect clicks the ad. The website must fulfill their interest immediately. So whether it is display network advertising or another tactic, build a solid and easy offer or step to the sale. 

Learn the Ropes or Get Help to Manage Digital

It can be difficult to manage digital because of the constantly changing landscape online, but there are many resources to provide help including consultants like Genius Marketing or simply online support from providers like Google. 

Schedule a time to discuss your online strategy. It’s a free consultation to help you optimize your marketing. Watch more video on YouTube.

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Steps to the Sale

Today’s one minute marketing topic is Steps to the Sale – mapping the sales process

When talking with business owners about their sales process, I’ll ask for a list of steps that prospects move through, ending with closing the sale. The company’s sales process or as I call it, steps to the sale, is usually a short list, such as shown in Figure 1: Lead Generation, Sales Call, Proposal, Closed Sale. 

Steps to the Sale What is your sales process? Lead Generation Sales Call Proposal Closed Sale

Figure 1

Steps to Sales What is your sales process? Offer Lead Generation Follow up contact. Education/Confirmation of interest, Sales Call Discovery, Confirmation of Scope Proposal Negotiation Closed Sale

Figure 2

Once we begin to discuss the sales process in more detail, steps that were overlooked or not mentioned are uncovered. The process usually starts to look something more like Figure 2 reflecting the full measure of steps need to close a sale.

Unpacking these steps is critical to effectively plan your marketing. Marketing and sales need to be integrated throughout the process to most efficiently move the prospect through the steps to the sale. 

Further discussion is required to build out the process specifically for the purpose of understanding how marketing and other parts of the company operation touch and support the steps to the sale. We’ll cover that in a separate blog and video.

Map out your sales process – list all of the activities that your company completes to close a sale. It’s a great tool for managing sales, training new staff and for our discussion, building the marketing to support the sales process. Let’s review your list together. Schedule a free consultation call.

We’ll review your steps and answer any questions you have about your marketing.

Watch our other videos on YouTube including how to plan for a post-pandemic recovery, a Marketing SWOT and other topics to help you with your marketing. At any time if you need help, contact us about how we can help you reach your marketing goals and drive more sales through effective marketing. Set up a free call today.

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Second Half Recovery Act

Today’s one minute marketing topic is Second Half Recovery Act – creating a recovery marketing plan

That’s not a new government program, it’s your own plan for rebuilding business in the second half of 2020. We added the word “act” to the name because this will require action on your part and on the part of your team. We’re here to help build a recovery plan and help you act upon it.

One Minute Marketing Tips

If you’ve followed my One Minute Marketing Tips, you’ve considered that the pandemic has changed the market, the buyer and your organization. It’s time to develop a recovery plan for the second half of 2020 that considers these facts and positions your company and its offering for success.

Start with SWOT

First, walk through a Marketing SWOT to determine where you stand, this is a critical first step to building a revised plan for your marketing (or getting your marketing organized for the first time!). With a Marketing SWOT you can begin to drive to the innovations that are necessary for your company to succeed.

While many feel that the worst is over (at least in the first wave) of COVID-19, there is no doubt that marketing and selling (and just about everything else) has changed. It’s time to get serious about digital, about video and about your new sales process.

The Next Normal

I have a friend who told me, “It’s not the new normal, it’s the next normal…”. Implying that while things have settled a bit right now as far as the way business is conducted, it could change again very quickly. That’s why digital is so important. Because no matter where you are or what changes come to your business, you can quickly adjust your messaging and your activity online to meet the next normal.

Take the Time Create a Recovery Plan

Developing a marketing plan takes time, but not that much time. In fact, we can develop a Second Half Recovery Act Plan in as little as a week. The key is focusing on what matters and developing a handful of integrated activities that can get your organization’s sales team in front of prospects.

The details of the plan are unique to your company, but the method for developing and implementing the plan are well defined and I can walk you through them. We can develop a plan your organization can implement for Q3 and 4 of 2020.

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications plan or your recovery marketing plan, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation. Or schedule a phone consultation now to assess your situation.

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SWOT One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s one minute marketing topic is SWOT for your marketing 

SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. It’s an old school way to quickly inform a planning process. 

When considering your company’s recovery and go-forward plan, now is a great time to tap into this analysis. SWOT can help you quickly assess your marketing. There are many questions that can be asked, but these are a quick start to a marketing SWOT analysis.

Focusing on Internal Issues

Strengths and weaknesses usually focus on internal or organizational matters.

Marketing Strengths

  • What advantage(s) does our company have over competitors?
  • What unique attributes – or unique selling proposition – do we have?
  • What is our marketing and sales team’s strengths?

Marketing strengths should focus on what your organization does well and what is unique about your organization, brand, product or offer.

Marketing Weaknesses

  • What complaints do we hear from customers? Objections from prospects?
  • How much voice do we have in the market? Do people hear and see our message?
  • Are our marketing resources aligned properly? Or do we just do the same things we always have done?

Often, one of the biggest weaknesses organizations face is lack of process in marketing. Consider where your process needs improvement.

Focusing on External Issues

Opportunities and Threats usually focus on external matters such as market and competition. 

Marketing Opportunities

  • How is the competition doing? What are they missing?
  • Has the market changed? Are prospects looking for something new or different?
  • What new means of communicating with prospects is available?

Now is an excellent time to assess how the market is changing. While not wanting to “steer the ship” based on competitor direction only, it can help guide a competitive or a niche marketing plan.

Marketing Threats

  • Is our target market growing? Or shrinking? Or just moving and changing?
  • Could predicted cultural changes and resulting buyer behavior affect our sales?
  • What new competitors or new offers are entering the market?

Businesses are often caught off guard by unforeseen market shifts. Now it is clear the market, buyer behavior… everything is shifting. Take the time to consider what is occurring and where it might lead.

SWOT: a Good Starting Point

Discussion around these starting points (there are many more SWOT questions that could be asked) will help direct the development of an updated marketing plan. Now is the time to address your organization’s offering, market and sales plan to be ready to move forward. SWOT as part of that process can help you uncover issues and be flexible and responsive as an organization.

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications plan or your recovery marketing plan, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Innovate: One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s One Minute Marketing topic is Innovate… a crisis recovery tip

I once heard a keynote from Gordon Mackensie, a creativity expert at Hallmark Cards. He said companies can be like tanker trucks. They have baffles which keep the liquid inside from sloshing about and making the truck unstable. He argued that baffles are great in tanker trucks but organizations have baffles that keep them from unleashing creativity and innovation. 

Your Organization is Innovative

Over the last two months, everyone has had to be creative, innovative and just plain flexible. Many baffles were removed from organizations so they could keep operating during the pandemic. 

How can you continue this level of innovation? Necessity is the mother of invention. Can recovery be the mother of innovation? 

Take an Indepth Debrief

Here are a few steps to consider how your marketing, or other parts of your organization can continue to innovate after the crisis. Consider an in-depth debrief to look at and utilize the learning from the crisis.

  1. Operations – what processes existing or new (due to the crisis) resulted in innovation? In doing things differently? Can those processes remain in place? Be built upon to deliver more or better for your customers…
  2. Mindset – the crisis changed how we work physically. How did it change us mentally? What new ways of thinking about our organization, our work, our communication can we continue? 
  3. Customers – how has the market shifted due to the crisis? What did we deliver differently during the crisis for our customers? Do they need something different as they work to recover and continue life after the crisis? 

Recovery with a New Focus

By focusing on the innovations made during the crisis and considering how to maintain or further develop that innovative spirit, your organization can build something new and different that meets the needs of the very different world that will exist post pandemic. 

Now is the time to see what the creativity and flexibility of your staff and your market could mean for the future of your marketing and your organization. 

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications plan or your recovery marketing plan, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Make it easy: One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s One Minute Marketing topic is Make it easy… a crisis communications tip

At any time your brand needs to make it easy to buy. Or connect, engage, respond. Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish with your marketing. 

In a crisis, this is even more important. People are distracted, pre-occupied. Your communications need to be direct, easy to understand and have a call to action that is easy to do. You are asking people to take their time and effort to engage with you. So make it easy. Especially in a time when people have so many serious things on their mind. 

One Step Action

What you want to avoid is a second step: if you provide a click, the link better be to the exact information or offer you promised. No scrolling, no looking for a clue… it has to be there.

If you’re providing a phone number, it better answer or have a message that pays off the offer. No “leave a message in the general mailbox” or “our system has changed please listen carefully…”. Live or on voicemail, a phone number should answer “If you’re calling about our XYZ offer, you’ve called the right place…” and then go on from there with providing the information about the offer. 

Immediate Action

People need immediate direct action or they are moving on. Provide an easy one step process to make sure people feel connected and are confident you know what they want or need. 

No matter how compelling you think your product or service is, it’s not worth five clicks or trying to navigate an endless phone tree. Connect your prospect immediately to what they want. Every time. And especially in a crisis. 

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Get Creative: One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s One Minute Marketing topic is Get Creative… a crisis communications tip

You have to love the creativity of people. Whether the latest work from home memes or figuring out a way to hold a 100 year old’s birthday party while social distancing, creativity makes us laugh, feel connected, and more.

Can You Be Creative?

How creative is your company? Not talking about funny memes, but rather what can your brand do to develop a creative solution or experience for customers and consumers during this crisis?

A Roadblock to Creativity

Here’s one big roadblock for creativity: inward focus. If you are focused on your own problems and issues, it is difficult to be creative about customer solutions.

What Does the Target Customer Need?

This is a great time to go back to what should be a part of every marketing plan: the target customer. Some call it personas – meaning a description (and often image or photo) of a “typical customer”.

Review the attributes of your target customer. What are they feeling? What are they dealing with? What do they need? What do they wish they had?

As you do this, ideas will start to come… you may begin to see connection points between your offering and the particular needs of customers in the current environment. Perhaps it is different delivery schedule, extended terms or unpacking the full offering into a piece that is most needed now. Maybe it is contacting your customer differently to make them aware of the new ideas.

Ask for Help

If you are struggling to come up with ideas, have a group chat with staff. Or ask your best customers for what they need and ideas about how your organization could help.

In a crisis you can’t give away the store, but some creative ideas can help you deliver for your customers in ways you normally wouldn’t or couldn’t.

Now is the time to get creative – get your team together, or ask your customers. See where you can provide value in a time of need.

Get Creative with Your Marketing

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Real Help: One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s One Minute Marketing topic is Real Help… a crisis communications tip

When you are in a pandemic, or any other crisis, there are natural reactions. Even marketers and brands have them:

  • Shock… we’re shocked by a situation that is affecting people’s lives and future
  • Empathy… people feel for other people and want to express that
  • Help… people want to help

Sending Well Wishes

All of us are receiving emails from companies and brands with which we may or may not feel connected. Many of them simply say they are fine, hope you’re fine and we’ll talk soon. That isn’t a great communication. In fact, it’s a waste of time.

So, do you send your well wishes as a brand? What do you include in your communications

Here are some one minute tips for communications in a crisis.

Rule 1: Don’t communicate unless you have news.

Keep communications short and focus on real news. Wishing others well is fine, but don’t waste their time, give them something of value.

Rule 2: Don’t assume your solution is THE solution.

Clearly explain what you can do for the reader/listener, but don’t sound like you’re the only answer.

Rule 3: Provide real help.

Offer something that really helps. Lower a price, make the terms better, speed delivery. Put yourself in the buyer’s mind. What do they really need and how can your brand meet that need?

Even if number 2 is true (you’re aren’t the answer), a serious message with serious help will be more appreciated than one more self-centered brand’s feelings about the crisis.

It’s a serious time. Make your communications count. Only news and real help.

Real Help for Your Marketing

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Covid-19 Coronavirus Communications Checklist

Pandemic Communications Checklist

During a crisis situation it is good to have a checklist of communications. Here is a quick checklist for the current pandemic:

Internal Communications

Overcommunicate. Staff are looking to leaders to provide guidance and information. No matter the situation: limited office work, work from home or temporarily furloughed… let them know what the company is doing/thinking.

Be clear. Focus on the main messages and clearly communicate them. What are the 1, 2, 3 things staff should be focused on during this crisis?

Designate all staff who will communicate with customers and the public and what they should say (and not say). Other staff should be coached on gathering information and passing on to designated leaders the concerns of customers.

Set up a feedback loop. Are there ways for staff to reach the your company decision makers with questions or to report things they hear from customers?

Maintain one voice. Check in regularly with those who are speaking with customers or the public to make sure the message is thorough and consistent.

External Communications

Communicate changes to customers – services, processes, hours, contact information, etc.

Designate contact methods. Do your customers know how to contact the company if they have an issue? Even if you are closed, there should be some way for customers to get a message to company leadership.

Set up a schedule on website and/or social media to update information on a weekly (or more often as necessary) basis. Use push notification (such as email) only when you have real news – information that customers or the public need to know to interact with your company.

General Tips

Bring perspective. Consider the position of the audience to whom you are communicating. What are they concerned about? Balance that with perspective from your position as a leader in the organization. What do you need them to know?

Be right rather than quick. Don’t react. Take your time, get the message correct, then communicate.

Don’t speculate – if you’re closed for this week, say that, nothing more. In crisis situations, things change quickly.

Stay calm. And speak that way.

Say Thank you. In a crisis, everyone is working in ways they normally don’t or on issues that aren’t typical. Take a moment to appreciate those efforts.

Look for opportunities – not to profit, but to provide education, extra service… be helpful.

Plan Ahead

Once this crisis passes, schedule time to debrief and develop a plan for the next crisis. Whether large like a pandemic or something smaller, another crisis will come. Having a plan for communications is a smart tool for your business plan.

Contact us if you need help now, or planning for the next communications situation.

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Super Bowl LIV Commercials

Entertaining game and congratulations to the Chiefs on their victory.

And the Super Bowl of ads… here’s how I saw it. Let me know your thoughts and favorites @StephenLEckert or here. Lots of good creative – I chose two best commercials: Wal-Mart and Jeep Gladiator. Read about them and watch below.

Best Super Bowl Commercial: First Half

Wal-Mart – Pickup Service

Creative isn’t the end all, humor isn’t the purpose of a commercial. Explaining a product or service is the purpose. Doing that with cool effects and humor is a bonus. Wal-Mart shows their pick-up service is for anyone… from Captain Kirk to Lego spaceman to Arrival’s heptapods (glass cleaner? – hilarious). Promotes a service in an engaging, memorable way.

Best Super Bowl Commercial: Second Half

Jeep Gladiator

Not sure if the target market for the Jeep Gladiator remembers the movie Groundhog Day from the theater (I doubt it). But sometimes creative is too good to pass up. The Super Bowl on February 2nd? Your product is a pick-up truck and Bill Murray’s character stole a (Chevy) pick up with the groundhog? You must do it! Having Bill Murray re-enact his role but in this version he’s enjoy repeating his day because of the Jeep Gladiator. Brilliant.

Other commercials that actually sold a feature

Hyundai

Not sure why Boston accents (and why didn’t they have a Wahlberg brother!), but fun creative and shows a feature (self parking). Hyundai consistently combines product features, benefits and good creative (remember the Kevin Hart commercial using the Hyundai tracking device to keep up with his dating daughter?).

T-Mobile

It works in the club! Funny with Anthony Anderson getting calls from his mom about her new 5G phone. It works everywhere! That’s selling a feature in a very relatable way.

Mountain Dew No Sugar

A rediculous creative spoof of horror films to introduce new Mountain Dew flavor. Great way to make a new product memorable.

Discover

No and Yes Spots. Clever, quick cuts between TV and movie “no” or “yes” moments with the payoff being that Discover has no fees (in the “no” spot) and is taken at 95% of retailers and restaurants (in the “yes” spot). A good ad that reinforces features and benefits.

Pepsi

Rolling Stone “Paint it Black” (from a red can). Direct swipe at Coke Zero. Young stars singing the praises of your product is always good. Good awareness ad. Doesn’t really prove it’s better than Coke. Of course, how would you in a TV spot? Oh wait, they did that with the Pepsi Challenge (look it up).

Fun for fun’s sake…

Okay, I hear you, I hear you. Can’t there just be well-produced, creative ads that show off a product. Yup…

Doritos

Doritos spot featuring Lil Nas and Sam Elliott “make your move” (love the dancing mustache) with a Billy Ray Cyrus cameo was silly and fun. Not sure it sells Doritos, but the speakers on the back of the horse was a LOL.

Cheetos

Funny, sort of selling an anti-benefit… orange dust-covered fingers will keep you from having to change diapers, move couches, etc. Probably a sign of my age but enjoyed the MC Hammer cameo a lot.

Pringles

Great concept with Rick and Morty but didn’t focus on the many flavors enough.

Mr. Peanut

Paying off Mr. Peanut dying in previous spots. Or trying to play on the popularity of Baby Yoda? I wonder…

And then there was…

Worst Super Bowl Commercial

Olay

“Space for Women”. I’m all for women in the science fields, love the effort to promote science to women. But Olay’s creative made women look silly – no one but the astronaut realizes there is a lot of space in space? Then the end of the commercial is one of the women pushing the ejection button without finding out what it does first? Bad, insulting non-humor. Wasted effort, could have been executed much better.

New York Life

Nice, but ineffective, commercial to celebrate 175 years. Inwardly focused… and that’s fine if you want to spend $5 million to make your shareholders and employees feel good. Interesting to define the four types of love in the Greek language, but the creative took too long to develop and the connection to New York life services and agape love was a stretch at best. At best…

Michelob Ultra

Buy a six-pack and Michelob will convert six square feet of farmland to organic. Really? That’s why I’m buying your beer? Corporate virtue signaling at its best (and worst). That’s a 1 ft by 6ft slice. Sounds amazing. There are 39,857,400,000,000 square feet of farmland in the U.S. Don’t drink that much… please. Jimmy Fallon is always funny, so that Ultra spot was at least enjoyable.

Ultra totally punk’d by Saint Archer Gold spot with a young beer seeker passing by Ultra in three stores to find Gold based on better taste. Guess he doesn’t care about farmland.

Hard Rock Hotel

JLo, DJ Khalid, sparkle cup. What the…

Intuit Turbotax

The spot running in the weeks before the Super Bowl was a better spot. What does the dancing mean? The earlier commercial made the point that Americans are good at taking photos (we are – we all carry a camera everywhere, every day) and therefore can be good at taxes. That spot was selling their service and was a better ad.

Bud Light and Tide Power Pods

I’m over the Bud Light Knight. Should have left them dead at last year’s Super Bowl with the Game of Thrones cross-promotion. Post Malone spot wasn’t much better. Did like the Tide guy running into Wonder Woman and just stopping at her “request”.

Audi

Let it go. Please. What a waste of an expensive song licensing fee. And exactly how does she get out of traffic?!? Just because she has an electric car the roads open up? Wish it were so…

Nice Touch

Verizon 5G

Nice honoring of first responders. Good to see a technology company acknowledge the importance of non-technology.

All in all

Lot of fun spots (many not covered here) and great creative. A good Super Bowl of commercials. Let me know your thoughts and favorites @StephenLEckert or here.