Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing · Radio

Here’s the second in a series of simple tips to improve the quality of your advertising.  This month, we focus on the power of emotion and the appropriate use of facts and logic.  As much as you’d like to communicate all of the things that make your business special, your best message is one that makes your strongest differentiator undeniably clear.  If you can express this difference in emotional terms – specifically as a benefit that has emotion at its core, you’ve got it made.  Remember, for every charming gecko, memorable slogan, or unforgettable jingle, thousands of businesses advertise very effectively by being authentic, direct, and adhering to a couple of simple ideas.  You don’t have to be a creative genius to use advertising effectively! Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Customer Retention · Marketing · The Economy

In tough economic times, consumers go where they still get the best value.  You either have to increase the value side of the equation or reduce the cost equation.  Reducing cost can have significant long-term effects on your business, since prices are typically difficult to raise until demand increases to the extent that consumers are willing to pay more to get what they want, when they want it (don’t expect this to happen soon!).  Value, on the other hand, can help you out in several ways:  it can increase loyalty more than pricing ever could and it can differentiate your business in a lasting, meaningful way.

So what can you do to increase the value side?  And do this without spending a ton of dough giving away stuff for free?  Take a 720° look at your business.

What does 720° mean?  Good question, and you’ll profit by understanding it before your competitors do.  The number 720 is 360 times two.  As you may know, “360°” is business jargon/consultant speak for taking a comprehensive, “full view” of something.  We use the “times two” reference because when owners look at their businesses from two different  360° viewpoints, interesting opportunities to add value emerge. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Radio · The Economy

Anyone who’s had an opening or two recently has probably seen hundreds of resumes.  More than a few from folks who have enough experience to run the place.  And we certainly can’t complain about salary needs: recruits are demanding much less than they were several years ago.

So what’s the problem?

There’s a funny thing about our 10%+ unemployment economy:  it hasn’t gotten that much easier to find great employees.

If you’ve been in business for a while, you know that hiring now is tricky for two reasons.  First, most of the overqualified applicants aren’t going to stick around when the job market turns this year or next.  And second, the true cost of labor includes 1) the training that goes into replacing them and 2) the lost productivity that comes from having unfilled positions and/or a less-than-perfect fit.  When you consider these costs, our current ability to pick through the low-hanging fruit isn’t as compelling as it seems. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing · Radio

Dr. Carmen Kavali, Kavali Plastic Surgery

When we think about the types of businesses that benefit most from strong consumer marketing effort, categories like retail, entertainment, and automotive usually come to mind.  This month’s exceptional marketer, Dr. Carmen Kavali, illustrates how professional services – even medical practices – benefit significantly by building market-wide brand awareness.

Dr. Kavali has built a strong brand around an emotional idea: a metamorphosis for body, mind, and soul.  Her logo, website, and on-air radio marketing work together to reinforce this idea.  She’s even branded one of her practice specialties “The Mommy Makeover” around this holistic idea of change and growth.

The emotional thrust of her marketing distinguish her practice in a marketplace that is extremely competitive and, like most other sectors, feeling the impact of shrinking consumer spending.  The branding is tasteful, relevant, and creates desire (while remaining well within the bounds of medical marketing canon).  Her radio advertising, which is targeted toward her adult female client base, is a powerful and cost-effective tool for bringing this emotion to life on a daily basis.  It’s built broad market awareness that other local practices can’t match.

Dr. Kavali’s proactive growth strategy has yielded enviable success.  As a recent letter to Cumulus put it, “In a few short years, my brand has become something bigger than just me.”  — a key point for all professional practices, medical and non-medical, alike.

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Digital Marketing · Local Search/Google · Marketing

Google is putting their money where their mouth isn’t:  brand marketing via broadcast media.

The internet advertising behemoth has been running broadcast ads since mid-January and invested an estimated $5 million for a single 53-second Super Bowl TV ad.  The spot, an emotion-laden story about life, love and adventure, driven by Google searching, was one of the critic’s favorites this morning.

What most advertising pundits missed was this:  Why does a company that has unlimited ability to advertise and build name recognition across billions of web pages every single day need to advertise on TV?  The answer:  Google is facing real competition today from Microsoft/Bing, and soon probably from Apple.  They realize that they can’t just win with superior algorithms any more.  And they know something that a company learns by driving and analyzing 60% of internet advertising:  internet ads do a lousy job of branding and building desire. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Digital Marketing · Local Search/Google

If Google has its way, its new local search technology will soon be the arbiter of ‘hot’ or ‘not.’  The latest (local) product, Google “Favorites,” is designed to label one business per specific locale the ‘favorite’ for its business category.  This nod will be driven by consumers in a variety of ways involving social and mobile tools that are part of the new product launch.

If you’re one of the small businesses that hasn’t paid much attention to Google and it’s local search, you’d better start before this tech creates a hard-to-crack stratification of haves and have-nots.  If you’re familiar or active with Google Local, use your knowledge to start fighting for this new beach-front real estate today.   Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing · Radio

Each month, Access Points highlights a way for businesses to creatively and cost-effectively reach the large communities of radio listeners in their markets.  This post pertains to several specific types of businesses:  primarily the restaurant, golf, ski, and spa categories.

When someone hears the term “no cost” advertising, his or her first reaction is usually skepticism:  you can’t get something valuable for free.  (Their next reaction is often to wonder, as in “can I get some?”)

Yes, there really is a way to get valuable, high-reach, high-impact marketing for your restaurant, golf course, or several other specific businesses for no incremental cost.  The program is typically called “Half-Off” (while it is free to the business, half-off is the value proposition for the end-consumer).

It works very simply:  the business buys an advertising promotion from the station using gift certificates instead of cash.  The radio station then resells those gift certificate to it’s audience via its website – at HALF OFF.  $50 gift certificates for the business, for example, which would sell for $25 online, are typically sold out just minutes after they become available (these programs are immensely popular).  The customer then redeems the certificate at the business and enjoys a great meal, round of golf, or massage. Read more »