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Ad Checklist

Information about creating ads and things  to consider by 411 localsDon’t have the budget for an ad agency or in-house marketing department? Don’t worry; you can still make an effective ad. Follow these steps and chances are good that you’ll at least have a return on your investment.

1. What format will this ad be seen in? Television, print, social media, radio, an online banner, billboard, point of sale, decide what media you are going to use. This will determine the ad’s style, length, even viable objectives of the ad.

2. Have a clear and specific goal. This doesn’t include “make more money” or “be super awesome,” even though both of those things are good. It needs to be a calculated goal like; X number of phone calls per dollar spent, X number of clicks per dollar spent, X number of customers coming in the store per dollar spent—and there should be a way to measure it like analytics or a reserved forwarded number, even sales figures before and after a spot (though keep in mind additional factors that could affect those numbers like weather or tax returns). Or if your goal is pure branding, which is important if somewhat difficult to measure, you may want to consider surveys or long term sales measurements before and after branding efforts. If branding is the goal, be aware that it’s a long term investment. Imagine it like the difference in between regular exercise to keep your heart in shape, and nitroglycerin. Both work great, branding works better long term but is less helpful if you’re in the middle of a heart attack right now.

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5 Mindsets that Are Ruining Your Marketing

5 Mindsets that Are Ruining Your Marketing1. The mindset that customers are not smart. They may well not be. 50% of all humans on earth have average or below average intelligence, statistically. If you sell a Mensa study guide then your target customer is probably smarter than you. If you sell helmets for daily wear, well you might be smarter than your target customer. That’s irrelevant. Whether you customer is buying a helmet to safely walk to the grocery store or if they are trying to figure out cold fusion, they don’t think they are dumb. You hear it in offices everywhere all the time, sometimes it’s just letting off steam, and maybe that’s okay, but if the general idea of “our customers are idiots” begins seeping into how you market, how you talk on the phone, or anything else you do, you are in trouble as a business. Here’s the thing, even if they are dumb they are not so dumb that they don’t know when someone else is treating them like an idiot, and it is just as often the case that the business is missing the point as it is the customer missing it. Assume your customer is smart. Sell to the smart customer. Even if the dumb customers don’t get it, they’ll have a good impression on some undefined level. Meanwhile treating them all like idiots will just piss off the idiots without knowing why and piss off the smart customers, and they’ll know exactly why.

2. The customer is always right. The customer is right about half the time, like everyone else. While “the customer is always right” is a wonderfully clever slogan, it can be detrimental to your staff, to your brand image, and to the bottom line. Here’s when the customer is wrong almost all of the time: 1. When they are being asses to your employees. One customer’s satisfaction is not worth all the good a good employee can do over years of employment. Don’t worry too much about that customer if everyone else is happy and they are just being difficult. On the other hand though, objectively look at the merits of a complaint, just don’t go in with the assumption that this random person happens to be right because they happen to be a customer. 2. When they are giving you marketing or product advice. One of the most helpful tools for marketing or branding, or even deciding on a new service or product, can be focus groups, where you take the opinions of random customers. But only when the results are being evaluated by a professional. Because when customers are in a focus group they are not in the customer mindset, now they are in a business mindset or an advertising mindset which is not who you are probably trying to sell to and it is not a roll they have experience with. If you do not know how to interpret the results of a survey or a focus group, these tools will almost always do more harm than good.

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Content is King

Even though our content editors are a fairly new team, they are full of unique ideas. This is proven by their video that presents the act of content writing throughout the years. If you watch it, you will understand the true meaning of the phrase “Content is King.”

4 Reasons Every Business Needs to Think More about Mobile

mobile friendly websites1.  Mobile browsers buy something within 1 hour—well 70% of them do. Which is a whole lot more than your laptop or desktop browser. Why? Because mobile searchers are on the go, they’re doing something, they want something. It’s not always easy typing a search on that little keypad and looking at things on that smaller screen (though it may be getting easier), if they are doing it they have something specific in mind.

2. 116 million in the U.S. own a smartphone. And that number is growing. Soon, just as many people will have a smartphone as have internet access of any type.

3.   4 out of 5 consumers will use their smartphone at some point to decide whether or not to buy something. If they are using their smartphone to look at your product or service, and all they find is your competitor, then they are probably going to buy from your competitor. Remember, 70% of them are taking action on that search within an hour.

4. Within the year mobile internet usage is expected to overtake desktop internet usage. Internet speeds on mobile devices has been increasing, and since everyone takes their smartphone with them everywhere anyway, it makes sense they would be searching more often from that device.