Wednesday, November 30

Stationery card

We Believe Christmas Card
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Monday, April 18

Local Genius: The Benefits Of Local Advertising

If you lived in Argentina and spoke the local tongue, you would order a Pepsi by requesting a Pecsi. Phonetically, this pronunciation is easier for Argentineans. In 2009, Pepsi acknowledged this little quirk and gave BBDO Argentina the green light to give a friendly nod to the locals and rebrand Pepsi as Pecsi –a significant move to localize an international brand.

National Advertisers have always recognized the importance of advertising on a local level, just not always as successfully as Pepsi. Or, Pecsi for those readers in Argentina. For the majority of national Advertisers the successful implementation of local advertising has been hindered by their misunderstanding about the best tactics and traffic sources to use, and how to effectively measure the results and return on investment (ROI). This confusion exists because they don’t live and work in every community they are targeting. But you do.

As a local business, you have the upper hand. You are not only a marketer to a locale; you are a local yourself. The idiosyncrasies and particulars of your target area are part of your everyday life. Benefiting from this advantage isn’t as easy as just being present, though. You must recognize the shift in consumer control and engage your evangelists—your most loyal customers and fellow citizens. The good news is you don’t have to spend huge marketing dollars to make your brand relevant to the local community, like Pecsi.

Thankfully the current technology environment has driven media consumption on the go – making it easy for local brands to reach and engage their audiences. The emergence and mass acceptance of new devices from laptops to tablets to smart phones has created an intuitive engaged user experience. According to the latest Mobile Audience Insights Report from JiWire, when local content is added to creative, users engage 100-120 percent more than they do with the same ad without the local content. There are more cost effective, measurable ways to stretch your marketing dollars farther than there have ever been before.

If you don’t know where to start, that’s okay – we do.

This post was originally published on Deep Ad Thoughts by The Cyphers Agency.

Monday, March 14

Target Audiences: Knowing Where They Are

Many things have changed in the world of communications, but the old adage – “Start where your customer is” – still rings true. We have already established the importance of knowing your target audience, but once you have identified who they are you need to identify how to reach them.

In a perfect world, we as marketers would create campaigns for a product or service we actually use, a brand that we’re part of the target audience for. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. You may be awesome at your job marketing to 15 year old girls, but that doesn’t mean you are in fact a 15 year old girl – that would just be weird. So how do you reach them?

Don’t worry, I am not going to suggest you take a lesson from Mel Gibson in What Women Want and start chewing Bubblicious and watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager religiously. While that approach may be quite entertaining, it isn’t very effective. You may not think like your target audience, but you do need to understand how they think and where their attentions lie.

Previously it was easy: your choices included typical top ten media like broadcast, print or outdoor. You knew the demographics and psychographics for each media outlet. You had a budget and divided your budget up accordingly with the peace of mind your message was reaching your target audience.

Now, its a little different. You have to work harder AND smarter AND faster. With the plethora of media outlets that are capturing people’s attention these days, it is easy for your message to become diluted and lost among the masses. And don’t forget that just because your target audience exists doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll find or listen to your brand. Sure, you might know that your consumers like Facebook, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll actively seek out your brand’s fan page. It’s no longer enough to blast a siren and hope that someone hears it. Build a strategy that works towards interacting with your audience AND working toward your marketing objective.

This post was originally published on Deep Ad Thoughts by The Cyphers Agency.

Friday, March 11

Knowing Your Target Audience

Advertising and marketing – it’s what we do. So in our line of work, sometimes we come across companies that are stuck in an “we” mindset: How we want our brand to be portrayed. What we think the strengths of our products or services are. Who we think should buy our brand. And as marketers, it is our job to help transform this thinking. Because, after all, its really about them – the consumer.

In order for any advertising and marketing initiative to be successful, you can’t ignore one of the most fundamental basics in the realm of marketing: understanding your target audience. But it goes beyond that. You’ve got to truly understand them: not just who you think they are but who they actually are. And, where they are and why they like you. By being honest with yourself about your target audience, you can effectively communicate with them to achieve your objectives and even get them to act on your behalf.

Even big name brands have had to learn this the hard way. Tommy Hilfiger, a brand recognized the world over, only gained success by learning some lessons along the way. The American powerhouse brand first attempted to establish their brand into Europe without adjusting their marketing and product strategies to fit the very different European target audience. After going back to the drawing board, Hilfiger returned with a more tailored brand message to the newly desired market: a more upscale, sophisticated brand than what is seen in the States. They changed not only their marketing strategy but even went as far to change their products to fit European tastes; choosing the European preferred wool over cotton.

Unfortunately, we aren’t all in Tommy’s shoes. We might not have the opportunity to learn the hard way and still have the chance to start over. For some, the first chance is really all there is. At the start of any new initiative, we must define who our target audience truly is, not just who we think or want them to be.

This post was originally published on Deep Ad Thoughts by The Cyphers Agency.

Saturday, December 18

It is a Wonderful Time of Year

Sweet And Retro Christmas Card
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Friday, December 3

Welcome to the Future: The Mobile Future

The decision of where to place your marketing message used to be a no-brainer. Your choices included broadcast, print or in store media placements. It was simple and the media was simple. As the use of the “world-wide-web” became mainstream, online advertising was born. Marketers were able to add banner ads, email marketing campaigns and more to their arsenal of media options. Then just as marketers became comfortable with the options in online advertising, we have seen the emergence of Social Media and Mobile Marketing. And these platforms are evolving at pace never seen before.

It is more important then ever to understand your target audience and where they are spending their time consuming media. It is becoming more and more about the user experience everyday.

First Changes
Mobile marketing in its simplest form appears as SMS messaging: the user sends a text message to a short code and receives a pre-programmed response from the advertiser. Advertisers have seen the marketing benefits of Mobile Marketing at the point-of-sale influencing purchasing decisions, building consumer relationships, and providing increased consumer intelligence. It is pretty obvious why technology is evolving at such a rapid pace.

Already, Mobile Marketing has evolved from standard SMS messaging techniques to Image Recognition technology. We are also quickly seeing the potential of Augmented Reality in the consumer experience. Take for instance Stella Artois’ Le Bar Guide, where using augmented reality allows a mobile application to overlay the profile of bars surrounding your current location. The recent launch of Apple’s iPad has even further exposed potential Mobile Marketing and its effects on how we look at the very definition of “mobile”, and how advertisers choose to spend marketing dollars. Time, Inc. recently released this video demonstration of how tablets are changing their advertising model.

Mix It Up
And while the world of marketing is ever changing, traditional methods still have a place (Apple’s iPad is advertised on the back cover of my latest issue of National Geographic, after all). Traditional marketing still has relevancy, but it might sit next to some new, technologically savvy neighbors in your annual marketing plan. Proper use and integration of new technologies with older ones will be the key to success.

This post was originally published on Deep Ad Thoughts by The Cyphers Agency.

Wednesday, December 1

The Evolving Role of the CMO

I don’t need to lecture you on the changes that have taken place in the way we market since the start of the economic downturn. No, you have studied, talked about and pondered those changes at nauseam. You get that your options have changed. (And hopefully you know we would love to assist you in figuring out which options will best help you reach your goals.)

Times are A’changing

What I do want to talk about is how the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Marketing Manager, Coordinator and Associate has changed. Previously, in plentiful times the objectives for marketing included producing qualified leads for acquisition, communicating with the current customer for retention and establishing and maintaining brand recognition among the masses. Delivery fell on the shoulders of operations, while sales was responsible for the hard numbers. If marketing was producing the leads, their job was done. Well, I hate to break it to you, but those days are gone.

The Future is Now

As a marketer in today’s new world, you need to be a businessperson first and a marketer second. Understanding and working in the business from an operations and financial side is imperative for the survival and success of any marketing plan. While “soft” metrics like brand awareness are just as important as they have ever been, they don’t carry the clout in the board room that profitability and ROI metrics do. Marketers are working alongside operations to respond timely to consumer feedback, all the while, following the sales pipeline further than ever before.

The Value of Marketing

These changes can be a real positive within a company and your career. Yes, marketing is now even more accountable for the overall performance of your company. But with accountability also comes the opportunity to prove the value marketing brings to the table. Not to mention, the walls that are being broken down between departments.

So I leave you with this to think about — How has the role of marketing within your four walls changed? Have you and your team adjusted accordingly?

This post was originally published on Deep Ad Thoughts by The Cyphers Agency.