Three Most Common Advertising Mistakes

No one likes to make mistakes, but we are human and we all do it. All too often we fall into a routine and slip into these silly advertising mistakes that hold our businesses back. Are you making these common advertising mistakes?

Number 1: Repeat offenders.

If something is working, keep doing it. However, as humans, we have the tendency to want to stay in our comfort zones. This way mean using the same advertising strategy year after year, or it can be as basic as posting the same thing week after week on social media. While it can be hard to always be thinking of fresh new ideas, that is not the most important part. The most important thing is that you stay on top of new ideas and new trends. Don’t settle for repeating the same thing over and over again.

Number 2: Too trendy.

At the same time, don’t get too ahead of yourself. You might be itching to try a Facebook live video, but don’t try it right away. Do you research. Check out other Facebook live video strategies. See how other businesses are doing it, and try shooting a video that is not live and see how it turns out. While new trends can be exciting, it is important you do your research and practice before you jump on the bandwagon. Also, just because something is trending does not mean it is the right thing for you are your business.

Number 3: Deadly assumptions.

We make a lot more assumptions that we realize. We assume that something won’t work for us. We assume that our target audience is mostly male. These assumptions however can be very wrong. Don’t assume, get the data. Look at Google Analytics and look at research, find out who your audience is through surveys and polls. If you put the time into getting to know your clients and their needs, your advertising will improve. Also, don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t assume it won’t work just because you have never done it.

How did you do? Are you making these common advertising mistakes? For help escaping these mistakes, contact Adventure AD Agency for helping sprucing up your strategy.

How to Develop A Marketing Plan

Advertising and marketing is not simply coming up with an idea and executing it. It involves research, planning, and strategic thinking. This all starts with creating and developing a marketing plan.

Creating a marketing plan though is a lot more work than it may appear at first glance. It takes time and a serious evaluation of your business. To help you create your own marketing plan, we have outlines the steps to a successful marketing plan.

  1. Identify business goals and objectives. To start off, you want to make sure you align everything you do with the existing brand and goals of the business. You want everything you do to build off the values and brand of the company and to further it. These goals and objectives should be kept in mind throughout the marketing plan.
  2. Perform market, product, and customer analysis. Set the target audience. Next, you need to seriously examine your product and the market it is in. This will allow you to strategize the best course of action. It will help you identify what is unique about your product and gives your a strategic advantage. Also, this is the time where you identify who your audience is. Who will be your potential customer? Using research and analytics tools, you can further categorize your customers by demographic and behavioral information.
  3. Employ a unique selling proposition. The work done in the last step to help determine what is unique about your product will help you develop your unique selling proposition. This is what your marketing and advertising should be centered around. It will give you content for your advertising.
  4. Align pricing and positioning. Before selling anything, you also need to set up the pricing and position in the market place. The product and market research done previously will allow you to determine this and set the best price for the market and consumers.
  5. Select best channels. Finally, you need to select where and how you want to advertise. You have the content for the advertisements and marketing with the unique selling proposition. You have the pricing and target customer base. Now, you need to decide what channels are best for that message and those customers. Is it social media or television? Is it print or billboards? This is up to you.

We hope this outline helps you create a great marketing plan. For help with marketing and advertising, contact Adventure Ad Agency today!

Ted Talks You Need To See

One of the best things about working in the advertising and marketing industry is that the industry is constantly evolving and changing. There is always more to learn and new concepts to try out, and one of the best ways we learn and grow and become better advertisers is by listening to other people.

This week, we have compiled a list of some great TedX talks that we think are great to either expand your knowledge of marketing and advertising or to simply entertain you and expand your mind.

What if there was no advertising? | George Nimeh

We’re All in Marketing: What Evolution Tells Us About Advertising | Ethan Decker

Sex sells! And other mythologies of advertising | Greg Ippolito

The Stockholm syndrome of advertising | Jacob Östberg

Can advertising save the world? | Jeff Rosenblum

When advertising works | Siu Hung Ng

Understanding the Marketing Cycle

Like the natural environment, the marketing field is cyclical. As soon as you create, plan, and execute a strategy, it is time to start back at the beginning building a new plan. The world around us and our business are constantly changing, and so must our businesses.

While it may seem boring to talk about the marketing cycle, it is crucial to identify and understand each part of the cycle. Too often, people skip steps and end up with less effective marketing strategies, because they don’t stop to identify their audience or consider their goals and objectives.

Consider these five parts of the marketing cycle. Are you making sure to carefully work on each step before jumping ahead to executing?

Identify – The first step is to identify what exactly you want to do. Go back to the Ws! At this point, you need to sit down, decide your target audience, decide what you are promoting, and decide what you are saying before you can decide how you want to promote it.

Brand – Next, align this goal with your brand or with a redesign of your brand. Bring your ideas back to your businesses core business proposition. What is your message about your company going to be?

Plan – This may be the most overlooked step. Planning is simply not scheduling. Planning involves going back, understanding your target audience, calculating proper pricing, and more. It means taking the time to make sure marketing is done right.

Execute – Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Go out there and execute, but do not forget to celebrate and enjoy. Be proud of your company and what you have accomplished.

Evaluate – At the same time, after celebrating, don’t forget to come back and evaluate what you did. Be critical, and understand there is something you could have always done better. This will prepare you to start the cycle over again and better identify who, what, and where next time.

While these five steps may seem obvious, make sure you aren’t missing any in your marketing process. Missing just one can be detrimental to your overall campaign, and when something is this easy, there is no reason not to do it right the first time.

Top Advertising Must-Reads of 2017

While so many of us prefer to pick up our laptop, tablet, or cell phone to get the latest in advertising and marketing news, there are some worthwhile books out there that can help big or small businesses to better understand their audience and to improve their advertising strategies. If these books aren’t on your list for 2017, they should be.

  1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – This book may not be your typical advertising read. However, this non-fiction book uses illustrative examples and stories to explain human behavior in an engaging and dynamic way. Reading this book will change the way you think about ideas and marketing products.
  2. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon – A fun, short read, “Steal Like An Artist” is a step back to the basics. It is a reminder of how good, innovative ideas are born. An inspirational read this book is the perfect boost you need to keep your ideas fresh and exciting.
  3. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads by Luke Sullivan – New to the business scene and looking for a starter guide to advertising, but you find all the other how to advertising books boring? Give “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This” a try! In a fun and imaginative way, the author will bring you into the narrative while also teaching you useful information about advertising.
  4. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Ries and Trout – Straight-forward and all about advertising, this book will teach you the fundamentals on how to position your business, as well as your products or services. From learning to harness your competitive advantage to understanding how to forge ahead in the industry, this book is a basic.
  5. Caffeine for the Creative Mind by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield – A slightly different type of book, “Caffeine for the Creative Mind” is a practical workbook filled with exercises for you brain. Feeling sluggish and out of good ideas. Try these mental workouts. As a result, you will better be able to approach problems by considering new perspectives. Your advertising will improve as you reconsider your approach and strategies.

Finding An Engaging Blog Topic

Blogging can be fun, but often the hardest part is knowing where to start or possibly what to start with when writing a post. Finding a topic that is both new and interesting can be hard and stressful. Creativity doesn’t always strike in sync with deadlines. Since content marketing such as blogging is so important to a business, we have come up with some helpful suggestions to get you started.

The most important thing when trying to find a topic is remembering or deciding what the goal of your blog is. Is your blog meant to inform your audience about your products, industry, etc? Is it meant to help or educate your audience on options and alternatives? Is it to persuade your audience to act? Your blog can do all of these things or just a few of these things, but it is up to you. A good blog topic comes from having a good purpose for you blog. By taking a moment to remember why you a writing, you will produce better content for you audience.

Ask questions. The number one way to come up with topics is to think back to the questions you are most frequently asked by customers. Think about the information that could be added to your website to make your job easier. For instance, if you are a gardner frequently asked why hydrangeas can be different colors, write a blog post explaining why. If you have a new patient portal on your website, write a post with images showing them how to use it. You can answer these questions post by post. You can also do FAQ posts where perhaps you do the top ten FAQ about frost resistant plants.

Explain your business. As a business owner, you know more specialized information about your field that your audience. That knowledge that may seem mundane and obvious to you is interesting to others. A post explaining the difference between a cold sore and a canker sore is valuable information for your customers if you are a dentist. You may think it is boring, but they will find it informative and useful.

Try a How To Post. While this may seem overdone, when done right this can be extremely powerful. We live in a world where more and more we want a way to do it yourself. Instead of messing up and making it up along the way, we like to google our life advice from everything about how to buy your first home to how to get over that lousy ex-boyfriend. If you write about a topic that is relevant to your audience, it will be relatable and thus, powerful.

Look at your calendar. There are more holidays and special events out there than you can imagine. Even if you work in a dental office, you can find a fun way to post about christmas time with a fun list of dental stocking stuffers. If you think about it, there is plenty of content sitting out there waiting for you.

Make lists. People love lists, especially checklist or short bullet points. We don’t need lengthy blog posts. We want shot and to the point. If you can list out helpful tips or tricks for you audience they would love it. Imagine if I just gave you here a list of 45 blog ideas. You would love it. The only problem is you wouldn’t be learning how to come up with topics on your own, which is the goal of this post.

Finally, go explore other blogs. It is okay to take inspiration from other people or write a post that has already been written. If you have a unique perspective or information to add, your audience will find it engaging. Get out there and look at other blogs from businesses like yours. Which ones do you like? Which ones do you hate? The ones you like are probably the ones that you should try to emulate on your blog.

Benefits of Blogging

It seems every business these days has a blog on their company website. Even your local dentist is featuring a blog on his website with weekly tips and how to’s. The fact of the matter is that blogging has lots of benefits for businesses and content marketing such as this helps drive traffic and customers to businesses.

To start, content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating and then publishing content online for consumers. The goal of this type of marketing is to engage your online audience in a new and exciting way. Blogging is one of the most effective and easiest ways to do this.

Think about it, if one business provides you blogs and resources that help you learn about all the different types of options related to their product or service, you will be more likely to want to do business with them. You will have helped them, and they in return will be more likely to want to use you and your business. This will also distinguish you among competitors.

Additionally, if you inform, amuse, or entertain with your blog, you will have the same effect. More consumers will want to do business with you. Plus, your brand awareness will not only increase, but so will the credibility and positivity associated with your brand. With each blog post, you are creating new ways for your audience to find you.

By opening up new channels through which consumers can find you, you may be able to both expand and broaden your audience. Your typical target audience or user base may grow, and you will find yourself naturally increasing sales revenue. Not to mention, you are creating deeper relationships with the online audience you have already created.

This development of relationships is the entire point of blogging and of content marketing. As we share information and ideas with our audience, we create and foster relationships. Through these relationships, business can increase brand, sales, relevance, and their target audience. As these relationships grow, your business will have an entire online community surrounding it.

Therefore, if you are thinking about starting a blog on your business website, it probably is a good idea. There are so many different ways it can benefit you, and numerous studies has been done to show how posting blogs directly affects your site visits and audience engagement. Don’t wait till later, get started now!

Three Channels of Marketing

Is your advertising campaign really reaching the audience you want in the way you want? That is an important questions to think about. The problem is how do we answer it.

In marketing, there are a number of different ways to reach your consumer, but all of these different types fall into three different channels of marketing. Each of these different channels have their own advantages and disadvantages.

By understanding each of these channels audiences and their various advantages and disadvantages better, you can better target your marketing and advertising strategy, and you can answer that question of is your advertising campaign really reaching the audience you want in the way you want.

First, there is the one-to-many model. This channel is where you are marketing as a company or business to a multitude of consumers the same message. In this channel, we find a very large portion of advertising included. General television advertising, billboards, and newspaper ads are all examples of advertising being distributed to multiple consumers at once. Sales promotions are another example. The promotion, for example of 50% off at a retail store, is distributed to everyone through advertising and given to everyone who participates.

Finally in this model, there is also public relations. These efforts are made by one company or business to maintain a positive image in the eyes of the masses. For instance, public relations does not focus on being perceived positively by one customer, but instead by all customers.

The advantages of this model is that it is faster and easier to do this type of advertising because it does not have to be personalized. Also, it is controlled to a certain level by the businesses doing it. Because this model involves messages going from a business to many consumers, the business is able to be aware of what messages it is sending to consumers, and it can change as the consumers change.

The biggest disadvantage is that this type of advertising can become generic as everyone gets the same thing, and there is not as much flexibility in who you are targeting. Even if you put a great television advertisment up and it reaches many consumers with the right message, people still may not care or identify with the message.

Second, there is a one-to-one model. This channel has messages being sent straight from the business or marketer to a specific individual or smaller group of individuals. In this type of advertising, databases and information is better used to target advertising. Instead of sending a flyer to everyone in the states, a financial services company may use database information to only send flyers to households that have a high income level. Direct marketing is a perfect example of this.

The biggest advantage then for the one-to-one model is that you can better target your audience and likely get a better response to your advertising plan. The disadvantage of this is that this benefit will likely cost more and be more time consuming. Plus, you have to have access to that database information on demographics and more in order to be able to target at all.

Finally, there is the many-to-many model. This is where consumers are actually communicating on channels to other consumers. The easiest way to see this is in social media and the buzz building that occurs when a post is shared over and over again.

This is an extremely powerful form of marketing, which is one of its benefits. Consumers are considerably influenced by other consumers, even more so than by businesses. As a result, consumers are more receptive to messages sent to them. Another advantage is that since this is mostly consumer driven, there is little to no expense associated with this. Most or the expensive would come from content creation or paid boosting and targeting of posts on social media.

The downside is that this channel is consumer driven which takes a lot of the control out of a business’ hands. Buzz building can be an organic thing that happens, but often businesses would need to pay to boost a post on Facebook for inorganic audience members in order for a business to spread its reach.

Now that you know the three different channels, which channel do you think is best for you and your business? Maybe it is a combination of all three. However, advertising is an art. If you need help changing or creating your plan, Adventure Ad Agency is here to help.

The Four Ps and What they Mean for You

Product, Price, Place, Promotion. In marketing, we like to call these the four Ps. These four strategy perspectives are a powerful way to examine any product or service and its marketing strategy. Whether evaluating someone else’s product or service or your own, by first looking at the existing strategy, you can then see where there is room for improvement.

Product  is simply taking a look at what product or service is being offered. From the raw materials that go into it  to the label on the box, examine what exactly the product being provided offers for the customer. Specifically, what value does it have. Looking at the value is especially important for the service industry, as they often do not have physical goods being provided. Their product is the value gained from their service.

Price may seem obvious, and it is. How much does the product or service cost? After asking yourself this question, it is important to then decide if the price set covers the costs of providing the good or service, as well as accurately accounting for the value. Later, when examining the competition, understanding your price is key.

Place is the strategy of determining where your product or service is being purchased. This part is key to learning where the audience for you product is. By determining where the items are going, you can better focus on providing value specifically to a more targeted audience, as well as advertising to that same targeted audience. You could also potentially see where your product or service is not reaching, that you believe it should reach. Then, you can adapt your marketing strategy to that audience.

Promotion – Finally, promotion has everything to do with advertising. Ask yourself, how are you currently advertising and promotion your product. Looking back then at product, price, and place, you may learn many ways to improve your advertising strategy.

The most important rule of the four Ps though is to always look at them in context, more importantly in context of the competition. These four ways to look at your marketing strategy are made even more powerful when used while also considering the competition in the market. Once you know your own product, price, place, and promotion and work to improve them internally, you can then look at the competition’s product, price, place, and promotion and improve externally.

What is your personal brand?

Who are you? What are you about? What do people think when they first meet you? These questions are weird to think about, because we do not often stop to consider them. We are more focused on what we are doing, not why we are doing it. The problem is that whether or not we are aware of it we are constantly conveying a sense to others of who we are through our personal brand.

The concept of a personal brand can sound vague and made up, but I will assure you it is not just real, but also crucial to professional success. It can make or break you in the business and marketing world.

Let’s break it down. The word “brand” simply means mark. Your personal brand then is your personal mark. A mark can be either a tangible or intangible impression that is left upon someone or something else as a result of someone or something else.

For instance, you can take this literally and think about the act of branding a cow. While this has a slightly different meaning, the concept is the same. The branding stick leaves a mark or an impression on the cow that will remain on that cow unless altered by some other force. Businesses have brands that convey the meaning and purposes of their organization. They also use their brand to create emotional associations. These associations and impressions can not be changed unless the business actively works to change them.

Similarly, when you meet someone for the first time, an impression is imprinted into their memory about who you are and how they feel about you. Every time you post on social media, develop a new relationship, or publish work, you are building your personal brand.

Therefore, everyone has a personal brand, and if you understand this, then you can focus on how to control what you personal brand is. Often, what people convey to others can be different than what they think they convey or want to convey. What can you do then to make sure that doesn’t happen?

First, think about it. Think about who you are and who you want you be. Then, each time you post, ask yourself if this post is adding to or taking away from your personal brand. Each time you meet someone new, consider what you are wearing and how you can conduct yourself to convey your personal brand.

Second, look the part. A big part of brand is image. Humans do not get logos. They get themselves, a powerful advertising tool in its own right. It is important then that we humans utilize this gift. We have all heard the sayings “dress the part” or “dress for success.”

Thirdly, beyond the day to day, look for opportunities to build your personal brand the same way you build your resume. If you want to convey to the world that you are care about the community, go out of your way to get involved. If you want to convey to the professional industry that you are serious about your career and informed about the industry, make sure to be informed by reading relevant journals and maybe even sharing interesting articles on social media or with colleagues.

Finally, to have a strong brand, you need to have something unique to set you apart. Luckily, you are already a unique and inspiring individual. You just need to spend sometime thinking and tapping into what makes you who you are. Never stop trying to answer that question.