The Importance of Consistency and Multiple Touchpoints in Marketing

Rolling out an effective marketing plan is not unlike planting season on a farm. If executed properly, you’ll get to reap the rewards later for all of the preparation and promoting you do today. Just like at a farm, you till the soil, sow your seeds, keep watch to ensure growth and prepare for the harvest.

Dr. Jeffrey Lant – professor, author of more than 60 books and internationally renowned expert on the subjects of marketing, business development, copywriting and more – put forth the “Rule of Seven” marketing principle decades ago. The principle dictates that it takes an average of seven touchpoints before a customer remembers your brand message and feels compelled to act.  That’s a lot of marketing seeds to plant. While the advent of the internet and social media has served to speed up the process considerably from the original 18-month period for the Rule of Seven to take root, there are a number of things to take into consideration when planting those seeds…

Tilling the Soil: When planning your marketing campaign, make an effort to really stir things up. Do your research to see if there’s an audience segment you may have missed with prior campaigns who might be the next great thing for your brand. Also, dig DEEP to come up with a marketing campaign that will really grab your intended audience’s attention. Phone it in, and that will not only come through in your less-than-stellar messaging – but also in customer’s response.

“In a crowded marketplace, you want your message to stand out,” said Tracy Woodall, founder of Metro Atlanta-based Woodall Creative Group. “Be sure to outline all of the differentiators that set your company apart from the competition – everything that makes you ‘special.’ Stay true to the look and feel of previous campaigns for brand consistency, unless it’s time for a complete company rebrand – which is an excellent way to really shake things up and attract members from a new, previously underserved market.

Sowing the Seeds: Once you have a fairly clear plan in place, it’s time to start sowing the seeds through the design of your campaign and identification of the various modes of delivery you will use to reach your audience. Rather than planting just ONE kind of seed, use a variety of means to get your message out there. Think of the rows in your garden as streams of communication: website, digital marketing, e-mail marketing, social media, direct mail, print ads, TV commercials, radio ads, billboards, promotional items, experiential marketing and MORE. Because today’s marketplace is so crowded and noisy, multiple touchpoints are the key to success. Don’t merely select one avenue at one time – it will be the marketing equivalent of shouting into the wind. After you’ve identified the best modes of delivery, start creating designs to fit.

“If design is not your strength, consider outsourcing to an agency,” shared Woodall. “You may be highly skilled at identifying your audience, brainstorming ideas and media buying, but if you’re lacking in the design department – your entire campaign will suffer. To compound matters, you may even be compromising your company’s brand image. Professionally designed digital and print pieces can have a completely opposite effect, propelling your brand in a positive direction in the eyes of your audience.”

Keep Watch to Ensure Growth: Once you launch your campaign, don’t take your eye off the ball. Track results and make adjustments when necessary. If you notice that your digital efforts are really taking off, whereas your print campaign might be falling short – you may want to reallocate any remaining budget to the digital side for continued traction.

“Many companies miss this step,” said Woodall. “They send their campaign out into the world, then watch their sales results to measure its success. There are a variety of ways to track results and measure success – not merely by watching one’s bottom line. “

Prepare for the Harvest: Another often overlooked step many companies miss is to communicate the upcoming campaign to its employees. It’s SO IMPORTANT to share your marketing direction with the folks in the trenches.

“An internal campaign rollout is a great way to get team members excited and to encourage them to reinforce that same messaging to customers,” suggests Woodall. “Try to practice patience. The results won’t always be immediate. However, if your marketing campaign is truly successful, your employees will be better prepared for a bountiful harvest of happy customers. Not to mention the fact that your product or service had better live up to the hype, or that new customer you just worked so hard to earn might not return in the future.”

Begin Planning for Next Year’s Planting Season:  Once your campaign has hit the market and you’ve begun to reap the rewards of your hard work, it’s not time to rest on your laurels. It’s time to start projecting and laying the groundwork for NEXT YEAR’S marketing campaign.

“Take a look at your tracking to assess what worked and what didn’t,” said Woodall. “If everything worked, pat yourself on the back and determine what had the strongest impact on your campaign’s success: mode of delivery, audience identification, the message itself or a combination of all of the above. If some elements were stronger than others, start considering ways to make the weaker elements stronger the next go-around for even BETTER results next year.”

Woodall Creative Group is a trusted resource for marketing managers and company leaders throughout the Southeast seeking a creative partner to share their company’s unique brand story with the world. If you need help planning for a harvest of your own, contact the team at Woodall Creative Group at 706-658-0244, info@woodallcreative.com or via our convenient online contact form. To learn more about what we do and sneak a peek inside our extensive portfolio, visit www.woodallcreative.com.

A Solid Marketing Plan, Strong Creative Team and Trackable Results are the Keys to Ensuring Future Success.

All too often – bound by time, talent or budget constraints (or all three) – companies will cobble together a marketing campaign, throw caution to the wind just to get it out there and then hope for the best. Sometimes they get lucky and their messaging hits its mark and is well-received by the target audience. But… is luck what you really want to rely on when it comes to marketing? When it comes to a well-executed marketing campaign, you should really have these three things in place:

1) A Solid Plan that includes overall campaign theme, delivery methods, time frame, target audience and objectives/desired results;

2) A Strong Creative Team that can take your plan from concept to completion; and

3) A Reliable Means of Tracking Results in order to gauge the success of your campaign – which will in turn aid in the planning of future campaigns.

Developing a plan is essential to the creation of any marketing campaign – the deeper you drill down into elements such as your target audience and methods of delivery (e.g. direct mail, e-newsletter, social media, print/tv/radio advertising, online banner ads, etc.), the greater the likelihood that your campaign will succeed… IF executed properly. Imagine a standard house that consists off all the basics vs. a luxury estate with all the bells and whistles like intricate woodworking, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, home theater, spa-inspired bathrooms and more. You wouldn’t want to hire just ANY builder to help you realize the latter. That’s where your creative team proves equally vital. If you’re a business owner or marketing manager with lots of vision, but not a lot of time or the software/skills to pull off all of those great ideas rolling around in your head – a highly skilled creative team like the one at Woodall Creative Group can help you breathe life into your campaign, possibly even growing it beyond your initial expectations.

With a plan and creative team in place, your campaign will take shape beautifully. But what happens after execution? Some companies may opt to rely solely on sales growth to measure the success of a campaign, and while that’s a great indicator (since sales growth is probably your #1 goal) there are some additional details you could be gleaning that you won’t necessarily get from sales figures alone. Here are a few examples:

1) Email marketing: If this is a tool you use to deliver messaging as an element of your marketing campaign, you can measure things like delivery rate (excellent indicator of the quality of your email marketing list – a large number of bounces may indicate that it’s time for an overhaul), open rate (a great measure of the effectiveness of your subject line – you really piqued their interest if your open rate is high) and click-through rate (this is likely the BEST indicator of the effectiveness of your overall messaging. For them to click on various click points in your email campaign means that they are engaged.) Depending on your call to action, you may even be able to track the conversion rate as they take the next step and become an actual buying customer.

2) Digital marketing that leads to a landing page: Whether you use banner ads, social media ads or email marketing to drive them there, any digital marketing that leads to a specially designed landing page can be measured. You can measure bounce rate (# of people who visited the landing page but immediately left or didn’t take further action), average amount of time spent on your landing page and lead conversion. Your landing page may be designed to have a call to action, such as “contact us to schedule your no-obligation consultation” with a digital contact form. A warm lead just became a hot lead. Your landing page may promote a specific product, and the call to action is “BUY NOW” – a warm lead just became a customer.

3) Digital marketing that leads to your website: Again – whether you use banner ads, social media ads or email marketing to drive them there, there are ways to measure web traffic and where they’re coming from. You can measure new website visitors vs. returning visitors, page views and more. The data you gather for this will be integral to determining your website’s UI (user interface)/UX (user experience) effectiveness.

And that’s not all! Even the effectiveness of print ads, direct mail and bulletin boards can be measured by sending leads to a dedicated phone number or landing page. What you DO with all of the data you collect is just as important as collecting it in the first place. If you’re looking for a leg up on your competition, tracking the results of one campaign to the next and LEARNING from those results is a great way to do it. Woodall Creative Group is adept at analyzing data and using it to make your NEXT marketing campaign even MORE effective than the last. We welcome the chance to serve as an extension of your own skilled crew and take the concept of luck out of the equation. After all, who needs good luck when you’ve got a great team!

Contact us today at 706-658-0244 or via email at design@woodallcreative.com to schedule a meeting. We can’t WAIT to hear your ideas and learn more about your company!

 

Whether you’re talking about a boutique in the heart of a thriving open-air shopping district or a company selling its wares or services on the internet, it’s not always easy to stand out in a busy marketplace. While you can place a sandwich board – festooned with balloons and displaying the day’s specials – in front of your store to draw the attention of passerbys, one must be a tad more creative in the digital space in order to increase impressions and drive traffic. When it comes to growing your brand online, the production of well-written, renewable content can prove a real game-changer. If you’re not already producing a regular stream of blogs for your company’s website, here are a few compelling reasons why you should start…

Blogs are Great Tools for Positioning Yourself as a Thought Leader: Do you fancy yourself or your company as the best at what you do? Then why not tell the world?!?! Instead of in-your-face marketing plugs, you should supply news and information your target audience will want to read. For instance, if you’re a builder, your blogs should relate to topics such as “5 Ways to Find the Home of Your Dreams” or “Ten Easy Tips to Preparing for the Big Move”. If you do a REALLY good job of positioning yourself as a thought leader on engaging topics related to your industry, your content may be shared – revealing to you that OTHERS now consider you a thought leader, as well.

Well-written, Renewable Content Can Help You Rise in the Rankings: Quality content is one of the best drivers to your website. This isn’t only true for the copy on your webpages, but also for the regularly updated content you add – in other words… your blog. Set a goal to create a set number of blog pages filled with unique content (let’s say… 50 pages with AT LEAST 500 words each is a good place to start). Avoid any and all use of duplicate content as it could work against you in a big way where search engine rankings are concerned.

Blogs Make Great Fodder for Social Media, Driving Traffic to your Website: If you’re positioning yourself as a thought leader and regularly creating quality content, you should use this for your social media. Promote a link to your blog across all social media platforms with a compelling post to make prospective readers click that link to drive traffic to your website. If they like what they’re reading, they may explore further than just the blog itself, potentially visiting the About Us or Contact Us pages to learn more about your company and reach out to work with you!

Blogs Can Be Repackaged for E-Blasts: The great thing about a good blog is that it’s a link in the chain. You can post the blog to your website, promote it on social media – driving traffic back to your website, promote the introductory paragraph in an e-blast with a link that suggests “Keep Reading” – again driving traffic back to your website, and promoting the link to your e-blast on social media – driving traffic to your e-blast and subsequently back to your website. Just seeing your company’s name in the inbox creates impressions, further fueling the argument for e-blasts – as well as awesome content to include in your e-blast… your blog!

Ready to get started? Here are some tips for creating a great blog:

  • Choose your headline carefully – You want it to state what the blog is about, but you also want to use some creativity to make it stand out. Headlines should be no more than 70 characters long. And don’t forget to really reel your readers in right off the bat. That first paragraph – really the FIRST SENTENCE – should sell them on the concept that this article is one worth reading.
  • The question of blog length isn’t an easy one to answer. Google LOVES content that’s rich with information (to the tune of 1,500-2,500 words), although busy web visitors may not have the time or attention span to devote to reading long, in-depth articles. Ideally, blogs should be between 700 to 2,000 words, depending on what you have to say. It’s really about QUALITY more than QUANTITY. Remember, you want your readers to visit you time and again – so grab their attention and keep them coming back for more. If you can do that in just 700 words – more power to you!
  • Make your blogs rich in content – statistics, cool graphics, compelling images, and professionally produced videos IN ADDITION TO well-researched, well-written copy. Do your research and include links back to the pages from which you draw your information.
  • Spell check and grammar checking software are your friends. Even one misspelled word or misplaced comma in a blog could potentially HURT your brand image.

If you have a copywriter on staff, blogs should definitely rank high among their list of duties. If you DON’T have a copywriter on staff, consider partnering with a freelance writer or creative agency that provides copywriting services as a service. Remember the adage that “you get what you paid for” – which can prove painfully true where copywriting is concerned. You COULD farm your blogs out to a service overseas for a fraction of the price, but you may find that they are fraught with grammatical errors or unnatural speech patterns – certainly NOT a good fit for the brand image you’ve worked so hard to build.

Thank you for reading OUR blog… we look forward to reading (and potentially writing) YOURS!

With an impressive arsenal of award-winning results amassed over a quarter of a century, Marketing, Design & Digital Agency – Woodall Creative Group – invites you to propel the growth of your company brand to new heights! To learn more, call us at 706-658-0244 or contact us.

Use the Digital Realm Effectively to Leave Your Competition Where They Belong…In the Rearview Mirror.

The answer’s been there all along. With so much talk about “the ROAD to success,” it’s clear – particularly in this day and age – that in order to be successful, you also have to be prepared to take your show on the road. That’s not to say that you need to start selling your wares and services out of the trunk of a car like the door-to-door salesman of old, but it does mean that you should have a solid digital presence that includes an effective mobile marketing plan.

According to Pew Research Center:

  • 77% of Americans own a smartphone – that’s more than double the 35% six years ago when Pew conducted its first survey of smartphone ownership in 2011!
  • Of households that make $75,000 or more annually, 93% own a smartphone
  • A little over one-in-ten American adults are “smartphone only” internet users – this is particularly true of young adults.• Of course, mobile devices don’t begin and end in smartphones. Nearly half of all American adults own a tablet and one in five own an e-reader.

But what do all of these folks use their smartphones for, you might ask. Pew Research also asked that question in a 2015 study and found that – while text messaging, phone/video calls and email ran a close 1st, 3rd and 4th – Internet use came in at a solid 2nd (97% of users aged 18-29, 90% aged 30-49 and 80% aged 50+), with social networking coming in at 5th (91% of users aged 18-29, 77% aged 30-49 and 55% aged 50+). Needless to say, given social media’s continued meteoric rise in popularity, those numbers have likely increased in the two years since the survey was conducted.

Because so many people are on the go – using smartphones or mobile devices on a daily basis and you hope to reach them whenever and wherever they are with your marketing messaging, mobile marketing has become an invaluable extension of internet marketing. Well-liked brands who’ve developed strong relationships with their fanbase often find great success in opt-in text messaging that may include news of a sales event or link to an online coupon. Brands who are just building their fanbase must resort to other means of mobile marketing, such as a dedicated mobile site or responsive website for mobile users who may want to learn more about them, an engaging brand-specific app that could include a “loyalty club” for discounts and exclusive deals, and/or a mobile-friendly e-commerce site that features the ability to pay through a mobile device. Beyond your own brand pages, social media provides a veritable promotional playground between sponsored ads and boosted posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and a wealth of opportunities to share your online video ads at little to no cost on YouTube and any social media platform with video upload capability

This is not to say that mobile marketing is the end all, be all of marketing campaigns – but it should be a strong component of your cross-platform marketing strategy. Expand your thinking beyond the target audience within a 15 to 20-mile radius of your brick-and-mortar location. Mobile and digital marketing helps you open up all new horizons – expanding your reach across town and around the globe. So buckle up and be prepared for an exciting journey!

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of incorporating mobile marketing into your current traditional advertising and marketing strategy? Atlanta-based Woodall Creative Group welcomes the opportunity to help you write your roadmap to success! To learn more about us, visit www.woodallcreative.com or call us at 706-658-0244.

Sources: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/